The solar-powered vehicle market is currently valued at $431.86 million, according to the report. Over the next seven years, that number is expected to rise to $535.9 million.
The main factor responsible for the rise in value is that governments — and consumers — are turning away from environmentally harmful gas-powered vehicles and looking for modes of transportation with less environmental impact.
A typical gas-powered car produces around five tons of air-polluting carbon dioxide every year. Worldwide, that comes out to around 3.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide gas released from passenger vehicles annually.
Solar-powered cars, conversely, produce zero direct air pollution while running purely on electricity. And since solar-powered cars derive their electricity from the sun, there is no need to worry about using up a finite resource, as gas-powered cars do with dirty energy sources like oil and coal.
There is even a prototype solar-powered car, developed by university students in the Netherlands, that cleans carbon from the air as it drives.
And the good news for consumers is that more and more types of solar-powered cars are currently being developed and hitting the market. Although some can be quite pricey, there are models available for as low as around $25,000.
In addition, the efficient design of these vehicles means that some can drive for up to 1,000 miles on a single charge. Others, simply by deriving power from the sun, theoretically could go months without having to be charged at all.
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