In a world, almost about to choke on the stifling vehicular pollution, electric and hybrid vehicles have emerged as viable alternatives to the dirty fossil-fuel-powered buses, trains, and cars. Such batteries are mostly powered by electricity from cleaner sources such as the sun, wind or water.
When it comes to such zero-polluting modes of transport, Australia has gone a step further by coming up with the world’s first fully solar-powered train. The train was unveiled in December 2016, when it made its maiden journey in the province of New South Wales in Australia.
Inbuilt Solar Panels on Roofs Generate Electricity
The train is outfitted with solar panels on its roof and at pit stops too. It gathers all the power required for its 3 kilometer route. Of the two diesel engines, one has been replaced by batteries and an electric motor. The other diesel engine has been kept intact for the sake of backup in case of emergency situations. The solar train has hundred seats, apart from space for passengers to stand. It can complete one round-trip journey per hour.
Cars, Unfortunately, Incapable of Replicating the Feat
However, the feat is difficult to replicate in other modes of transport such as cars since they require a lot more energy to run and take innumerable routes that sometimes have shadow and sometimes sun. Apart from that, being smaller in size, they have limited surface area to accommodate solar panels that can generate sufficient power.
It is easier to build fully-powered solar trains as they traverse on fixed routes and can be recharged at every stop with electricity produced by static solar panels.