Here at EarthTechling, we’re always excited by D.I.Y. projects, which is why we we’re happy to see that a home inventor named Terry Hope has been working on a pair of solar powered electric vehicles in Canada since 2008. Hope says he started on his first solar vehicle, called The KPV, in 2008, after needing to find a way to bring a collapsible electric scooter on board a sailing vessel off the British Columbia shore.
Weighing around 50 pounds, the KPV features two options for recharging its LiFePO4 main battery pack. One option is connecting to mains electricity via the onboard AC-DC power supply, while the other is an emissions free method making use of 14 6″x6″ mono crystalline solar cells wired in a series, the output of which is controlled via a group of dpdt rocker switches. It is noted by Hope that one can direct “the output to charge any two batteries/capacitors from either the main 24 volt battery pack, 12 volt battery booster pack or 10.8 volt capacitor bank. The two extra electrical energy storage packs have been added for extended range functionality.”
Hope doesn’t list how fast the invention can travel, only posting a video saying the electric vehicle isn’t supposed to travel as fast as it does (over 20 miles per hour, at least); most likely for safety reasons, it would need to be limited.
The designer’s latest project is a solar powered electric bicycle called the SolarCross. Once finished, Hope says the e-bike, seen in the photo below without the photovoltaics, will easily hit a speed of 28 miles per hour.
Starting with an 18 speed Specialized FSR frame, Hope customized a 24 volt, 1 horsepower motor to the bike, making sure to keep it independent from the pedals. He feels that way riders can pedal at their discretion, while still being able to travel at fast speeds. We wish him the best of the luck and safe testing as he completes the at-home innovation.