Imagineering the future of solar cars

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India – A team of students from Manipal University by the name of SolarMobil has built two solar car prototypes called FREYR-1 and SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle). With FREYR-1, SolarMobil became the third Indian team to fabricate a solar car from scratch. The team’s last venture, SERVe, was unveiled at a joint press conference with product development and research partner Tata Power Solar in Bangalore in April, 2015. The team is inspired by their motto “Imagineering the future.”

SERVe is a two-seater four-wheeler solar vehicle. The car weighs 590 kilograms with a maximum speed of 60 kilometers per hour. The battery storage is 6.5 kWh and sustains up to 100 kilometers when fully charged. The solar panels can generate 1KW of energy. The body is Glass Fibre Reinforced Plastic (GFRP) and the suspension has been tested for the Indian Roads.

SERVe secured the 3rd place prize at CII India Innovation Challenge in November 2014, competing with 1,500 entries; and won the 1st prize under category UJJWAL at IIT Bombay’s Tech Fest in 2015. The team’s work has been covered by major online and offline publications including BBC Auto, Times of India, NDTV Auto, among others.

SolarMobil is currently working on its next car trying to make it more efficient and more commercially reliable. Intended changes include improved motor performance, compactness, driving comfort and higher efficiency.