Green Transportation for All: Free, Community Ride Share Program Powered by Solar Ecocar

Solar-Powered Ecocar White car driving down a road

by | Mar 14, 2023

Solar-Powered Ecocar White car driving down a road

(Credit: Ecocar)

Ecocar Motors has developed a solar-powered vehicle called the Ecocar that could transform how communities provide free transportation to their residents. The Ecocar is a Solar Electric Vehicle (SEV-ZEV) with zero emissions, making it a sustainable option that can help to reduce carbon emissions and provide free transportation for individuals and groups. Solar panels capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity to power the vehicle’s electric motor. The result – the car has zero emissions and is completely sustainable.

Design of the Solar-Powered Ecocar

  • Compact and efficient, making it easy to navigate through tight city streets and crowded areas. It can
  • Accommodates up to four passengers
  • Low operating costs make it an ideal option for communities that are looking to provide free transport without incurring high costs

According to the US Department of Transportation, EV adoption in rural areas is 40% lower than in urban areas. Given this statistic, the Clean Cities University Workforce Development Program places interns at Clean Cities coalitions around the US. The interns work on infrastructure deployment, data collection, outreach and education, and marketing.

EV Manufacturing and Employment in Rural America and Traditionally Underserved Communities

  • The manufacturing and supply chains of EVs, their components, and charging equipment present an opportunity to invest in the American workforce and local communities. While the motor vehicle sector lost 9 percent of its jobs in 2020, the electric vehicle sector grew by 8 percent, adding 6,000 jobs.
  • In late 2021, Ford and its partners announced plans to invest more than $10 billion in three plants for EVs and batteries in Kentucky and Tennessee. This investment is expected to create over 10,000 jobs, indicating a promising future for EVs.
  • EV manufacturing presents an opportunity to increase employment in an equitable manner and the benefits of EVs should be distributed fairly among urban and rural populations, communities of color, and traditionally underserved communities.

EcoCAR EV Challenge AVTC

Advanced Vehicle Technology Competitions (AVTCs) challenge university teams to design and build next-generation clean mobility solutions and apply theoretical and applied knowledge in engineering to solve the toughest challenges facing the mobility industry. This program engages extensively with universities in more rural states, including the University of Alabama, Mississippi State, West Virginia University, University of Tennessee, and others.

In 2022, the Department of Energy launched the EcoCAR EV Challenge AVTC series, which will offer broad opportunities for participation from minority-serving institutions, as well as rural and other historically underserved educational institutions.

In May, The EcoCAR EV Challenge Year 1 Competition is set to take place in Orlando, Florida. Teams will gather to showcase their efforts in engineering, project management, communications, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Events at the competition include sponsor networking, team celebrations, and an awards ceremony.

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