Manojit Mondal, a businessman from Bankura in West Bengal, India, has made headlines with his hand-made solar-powered car. The vehicle only requires the driver to pay about 37 cents to travel 100 kilometers — about 62 miles.
This car is a pretty substantial money-saving tactic for Mondal, considering gasoline costs about $4.42 per gallon in some parts of India, according to India Times.
Indian news outlets have referred to the car as a “mechanical landmark” and a “mechanical icon.” Reports indicate that the car does not run on a traditional engine, which means it is almost completely silent even when reaching speeds up to 50 miles per hour.
The vehicle appears to be a converted Tata Nano, which made waves as the supposed “world’s cheapest car” when it was unveiled in 2008 for just 100,000 rupees — about $1,500, according to CNET.
The Nano was in production for 10 years between 2008 and 2018 and targeted first-time car owners who might otherwise stick to scooters or motorbikes, according to HotCars.
The Tata Nano kept costs to a minimum by stripping away everything that could be seen as superfluous — it boasted only one mirror, only one windshield wiper, smaller wheels, lighter-weight sheet metal material, no ventilation, and no airbags, which means it didn’t meet the safety standards to be sold in the United States.
News 18 reports that Mandal had creative aspirations since childhood, so his new solar car project was a way to put his ambitions to good use while also saving money on gasoline.
Electric vehicles are gaining in popularity around the world due to decreased fuel costs and government incentives. By driving vehicles that utilize clean energy, we help curb the dangerous overheating of our planet by refusing to burn the dirty energy sources that pollute our environment.
Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.