Why can’t cars be powered by solar panels?
Actually they can to a point. Some experimental cars are being designed with roof panels.
Realize that the output from a solar panel is inconsistent. A 50 watt panel produces varying power depending on cloud cover and solar intensity and the angle of the sun.
Also, the area of the car roof panel is not enough to gather enough power to charge large electric car batteries
Currently such a roof panel would have to be used as a supplemental system unless you plan to park for hours to recharge a battery.
Ford is designing a transparent roofed carport with lenses to concentrate power enabling a parked car with solar roof panels to charge up. This might work if you had access to such a parking port at work.
Read about it here:
While our technologies catch up with reality, and efficiencies allow for more practical application of solar power for cars, the good news for all of us is that there are alternate choices available now.
Consider revisiting auto solar in a few years when it solves some if it’s problems and becomes widely available.
Buses and taxis in many locations in California use CNG- compressed natural gas- It’s not perfect, and it does produce some CO2, but it is far cleaner than gasoline. It’s an inexpensive conversion, costs less than gasoline to buy and is a better short term solution.