An Indian maths teacher has created a solar-powered car, after spending 11 years researching and developing the vehicle. And the product is a car that looks just like a Delorean- featuring upward-opening doors.
Bilal Ahmed, from Srinagar in Kashmir, had a goal to build a luxurious and sustainable vehicle that would be accessible to more than just the wealthy.
“Cars like Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW are a dream for a common person. Only the rich can afford such cars. I thought it would be great to allow people a feeling of luxuriousness through this innovation,” Bilal said.
Ahmed’s car is unique in that nearly every surface is covered in solar panels; from the bonnet to the rear windshield, allowing for maximum energy generation.
Features of the solar-powered car
Ahmed achieved this impressive feat without any external funding, spending over Rs 15 lakh (€18,200) on the fully-automatic car.
As the weather in Kashmir is generally more gloomy, Bilal sourced solar panels called monocrystalline solar panels, which produce more kw/h of electricity than other panels. These panels manage to operate in less sunny conditions; ideal for regions like Kashmir where temperatures frequently drop below freezing (0 degrees Celsius, 32 degrees Fahrenheit).
The car also features upward-opening doors to catch as much sunlight as possible. The solar panels on the doors can be operated by remote control, allowing them to move to catch the best sun rays.
Even the brakes help the car to be more eco-friendly. Bilal explained:
“The braking system will [also] regenerate the power to its batteries to save energy,”
He drew inspiration from 1950s models and networked with other experts to bring his vision to life.
The Future of Bilal’s Solar Car
The inventor is hopeful that his creation will revolutionize the market and provide a golden employment opportunity for young people in the region.
Despite facing challenges such as a lack of funding and equipment, Bilal is determined to mass-produce the vehicles and start a company, which he plans to call YMC after his children.
He already has the support of the innovation center at the National Institute of Technology in Srinagar, which aims to help him develop his car further.
The head of the center, Saad Parvez, emphasized the need for local innovators to be motivated and to have a marketplace for their innovations:
“The IIED centre will help him to develop his innovation and will connect him with the industries or forum that can help him. Our local innovators need motivation and a marketplace. The challenge is to market the innovation.”