Manipal Institute & Tata Power Solar unveil solar car with 60 kmph top speed


A team from Manipal Institute of Technology and Tata Power Solar on Wednesday unveiled SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle), the university’s first prototype solar car ready for exploring commercial viability.

This four-wheeled prototype, run solely on solar energy, is designed by a team of 27 student enthusiasts. Weighing 590 kgs, this two-seater solar car can reach up to 60 kmph with a cruising speed of 30 Kmph.

Designed by students of SolarMobil team, with an intention of commercial usage, the vehicle is custom-fit with solar panels designed by Tata Power Solar, said a statement.

Designed keeping in mind the mobility and commercial viability, the solar panels have been custom-made to fit the car’s curved surface enhancing the aerodynamics and performance of the vehicle. The customized panels weigh just 35 kgs and provide upto 960 watts power and weigh less than half of the conventional panels. The car also houses a Direct Solar Drive, powered by solar panels, to maintain the cruising speed and is supplemented by extra power from its high-end energy storage system.

Speaking on the project, P Giridhar Kini, associate director, Manipal University, said, “industry-academia collaboration is the key to foster innovation among the students. Hence, working with corporates like Tata Power Solar helped our students get technical support and knowledge transfer.”

Tata Power Solar managing director and chief executive Ashish Khanna chipped in saying “the project epitomises our belief in innovation. We not only encourage innovation within our organisation but also propagate university participation for this cause.”