2006 Solar Powered Neighborhood Electric Vehicle

Objective: Design, build and drive a solar powered low speed car. An educational and fun project to learn and inspire.

Design concept:

The car was built using surplus and new parts, aluminum extrusions, styrofoam, wood and ABS plastic. It is very lightweight, can be 100 percent charged by the sun and suitable for the Maine climate.


Seats two people.
Twenty-five Miles per hour top speed.
Range of 12 miles
Water proof
Two speed transmission
Lights, horn, brakes
Weight: 350 pounds   

Electrical Specifications:

Solar panel on hood (current): Photowatt, 55 watts
Solar panels on roof (future) 150 watts
Solar charge controller: Morningstar, model PS-15M 15 amps, 12 or 24 volt.
Three 12 VDC deep cycle marine batteries 115 AH wired in series for 36 volts.
Motor: Advanced DC 14-07-4001 two to five horsepower, 24 VDC
Curtis Model 1214-8704, 24-36 Volt motor control 350 Amp output
 Speed potentiometer pedal, and 200-amp ammeter.

Conclusion: We have taken trips into town (8 miles round trip) many times and it has proven to be a practical neighborhood electric vehicle. We are now delivering a second-generation car with many improvements such as quieter transmission, a more powerful motor, 48 V DC, less wind drag and less rolling resistance. 

Art Haines
email:   art@SUNNev.com