Solar-Powered Car Market: Global Size, Share, Trends, Growth and Forecast 2022-2032
Solar-Powered Car Market: Overview and Definition
The solar-powered car market was estimated to be worth roughly USD 2.2 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach USD 48.5 billion by 2032, at a CAGR of 32.5% over the forecast period of 2022 to 2032. The solar-powered car is an electric vehicle that uses solar energy as a power source. It uses the photovoltaic cells to convert sunlight energy into electric power to run the car. Solar panels are mounted on such cars that contains photovoltaic cells. Solar panels produces the electricity which is stored in batteries. The charged batteries employed in the car further drives the motor, which serves as an engine and moves the car. The rising interest towards sustainable and renewable energy systems has significantly pushed the demand for solar-powered cars. Therefore, a number of automobile companies are working towards making solar cars; as the technology will transform the future of the automotive industry.
Solar-Powered Car Market: Key Drivers
The solar-powered car market is driven by several factors, including:
Rising Demand for Sustainable and Renewable Transportation: The global push towards sustainability and renewable energy has created a growing demand for sustainable transportation options, including solar-powered cars. Consumers are increasingly looking for alternatives to gasoline-powered vehicles that can help reduce their carbon footprint and contribute to a cleaner environment.
Technological Advancements: Advances in photovoltaic technology, battery technology, and electric motor efficiency have made solar-powered cars more feasible and practical. Improvements in materials science, design, and manufacturing techniques are also helping to drive down the costs of solar-powered cars.
Government Incentives: Government policies and incentives, such as tax credits, rebates, and subsidies, are encouraging the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles, including solar-powered cars. Many countries have set ambitious targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promoting the use of renewable energy, which is driving the adoption of electric and hybrid vehicles.
Innovative Business Models: Some companies are exploring new business models that leverage solar-powered cars, such as offering solar-powered car-sharing services. These services allow users to rent solar-powered cars on an as-needed basis, reducing the need for individual car ownership and reducing the overall environmental impact of transportation.
Cost Reductions: The cost of solar panels has declined significantly in recent years, making it more affordable to integrate them into cars. As more manufacturers enter the solar-powered car market and competition increases, prices are likely to fall further, making solar-powered cars more accessible to consumers.
The growing demand for eco-friendly alternatives has led to the shift in focus of the companies on cars that run on renewable sources rather than fossil fuels. In addition to this, increase in air pollution has turned out to be life threatening. For instance, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), millions of lives are lost in past several years due to the low air quality. Therefore, the need for combating this critical situation has enabled the governments around the globe to find ways to encourage people to switch to renewable sources of energy. Moreover, depletion of the fossil fuel has encouraged a number automakers to look for a feasible option to maintain their pace of development and progress. Currently the solar powered cars is one of the best possible alternate solutions. Hence, such automakers are introducing technologically advanced solar powered cars.
However, factors such as expensive integration of technology and less operational efficiency may hamper growth of the market to some extent during forecast period. On the other hand, upsurge in demand for zero-emission cars has forced the automotive industry players to develop and design new alternative technologies, such as solar powered cars that uses solar energy to drive the vehicle. This factor creates lucrative growth opportunities for the market. Also, an upsurge in research in far-field wireless charging technologies is anticipated to be opportunistic for the growth of solar-powered cars.
Throughout the forecast period, crystalline silicon solar cells segment will continue to hold a dominant share of the global market, on the basis of material. This is attributed to the fact that crystalline silicon solar cells are the most generally used material in most of the solar panels. Such solar cells provide high stability along with the efficiency that can go up to 25%. However, the thin-film solar cells segment is anticipated to witness highest growth rate during the forecast period. Thin-film solar cells are about 20 times thinner than crystalline silicon solar cells; hence, they are extremely flexible and lightweight.
According to the car, the SUVs and sedans segments are expected to hold a dominant global market share. This is attributed to the rising preference towards solar-powered SUVs and sedans due to larger areas for installing solar panels, which causes higher absorption of solar energy by panels, leading to higher efficiency. Consequently, the segment is also projected to grow at highest growth rate, which in turn propels the solar powered car market in the upcoming years.
Solar-Powered Car Market: Challenges
The solar-powered car market faces several challenges, including:
Limited Efficiency: While photovoltaic technology has improved in recent years, solar panels still have limited efficiency, which can make it difficult to generate enough electricity to power a car. Solar-powered cars may also not be practical in areas with limited sunlight or during periods of cloudy weather.
High Cost: Solar panels can be expensive, and incorporating them into cars can add to the cost of manufacturing. This can make solar-powered cars more expensive than traditional gasoline or electric vehicles, which can be a barrier to adoption.
Limited Range: Solar-powered cars typically have a limited range, which can make them less practical for long-distance travel. While some models, such as the Lightyear One, claim to have a range of up to 450 miles on a single charge, this is still significantly less than the range of gasoline-powered cars.
Lack of Infrastructure: Unlike gasoline-powered cars, which can be refueled at gas stations, solar-powered cars require charging infrastructure that can accommodate solar panels. Currently, there is limited charging infrastructure for solar-powered cars, which can make it challenging for owners to keep their cars charged.
Limited Availability: Solar-powered cars are still in the early stages of development, and there are currently only a limited number of models available on the market. This can make it difficult for consumers to find and purchase solar-powered cars.
Regulatory Challenges: Some countries have regulatory frameworks that do not fully support solar-powered cars. For example, some countries may require additional safety features or compliance with certain standards that are not yet fully developed for solar-powered vehicles.
Solar-Powered Car Market: Report Scope
Base Year Market Size
Forecast Year Market Size
Solar-Powered Car Market: Segmentation
- Crystalline Silicon Solar Cells
- Thin-Film Solar Cells
By Solar Component:
- Solar Arrays
- Power Trackers
- North America
- Latin America
- Asia Pacific
- Middle East & Africa
Solar-Powered Car Market: Regional Synopsis
Europe dominated the global solar powered car market and is likely to be the most profitable region throughout forecast period. This is due to increasing concerns across the region about changing climatic conditions. In addition to this, growing awareness about zero emission vehicles in the region significantly contributes solar powered car market in the region. Moreover, the region huge presence of key manufacturers of solar powered cars, which is one of the prominent factor that drives growth of the market.
On the other hand, the considerable growth disposable income of the public in several countries across the Middle East has led to the rising demand for solar cars, further encouraging demand for solar powered cars.
Further, North America region is expected to witness highest growth rate during the forecast period. This is attributed to rising trend of expansion of the automotive sector and increase in the demand for electric vehicles which leads to the upsurge in production of solar powered cars.
Solar-Powered Car Market: Key Players
- Sono Motors GmbH
- Toyota Motor Corp
- Ford Motor Company
- Cruise Car Inc.
- Mahindra & Mahindra Limited
- General Motors
- Volkswagen AG.
- Solar Electric Vehicle Company
- Hanergy Holding Group
- Audi AG
Solar-Powered Car Market: Recent Developments
The solar-powered car market is still in its early stages, and there are several recent developments that are shaping its future:
The Launch of the Lightyear One: The Lightyear One, which was launched in 2021, is a solar-powered electric car that claims to have a range of up to 450 miles on a single charge. The car is equipped with solar panels on its roof and hood, which can provide up to 12,000 miles of driving per year in sunny regions.
Increased Investment in Solar-Powered Car Startups: There has been an increase in investment in solar-powered car startups, with several companies receiving significant funding in recent years. For example, Sono Motors, a German startup, raised $50 million in a recent funding round to support the development of its solar-powered electric car.
Collaboration between Automakers and Solar Companies: Some automakers are partnering with solar companies to develop solar-powered cars. For example, Toyota and Sharp have partnered to develop a solar-powered car that uses a new type of solar panel that is more efficient than traditional panels.
Growing Interest in Solar-Powered Car-Sharing Services: Some companies are exploring new business models for solar-powered cars, such as offering solar-powered car-sharing services. These services allow users to rent solar-powered cars on an as-needed basis, reducing the need for individual car ownership and reducing the overall environmental impact of transportation.
Advancements in Solar Technology: Advances in photovoltaic technology are making solar-powered cars more efficient and practical. For example, some companies are developing new types of solar panels that are more flexible and can be integrated into the body of the car, reducing drag and improving aerodynamics.