Politicians, oil companies, and automobile manufacturers take note: many of us citizens are getting tired of having to rely on the combustion engine as the only means of getting around.
I must hasten to add that this statement obviously has nothing to do with living sources of transportation (horses, elephants, taun-tauns... oh, wait... that's a Star Wars critter...). I'm merely stating that alternate fuel sources are available, but still need considerable research before they can be employed to full effect.
Solar power has not yet been developed into a practical source of energy for everyday transportation, but research continues-primarily in the form of racing vehicles. The limitation of the power input into battery cells from solar panels is the primary hurtle yet to be overcome.
But, there is hope: The Tamiya Solar Powered Car Assembly Kit.
The problem: You can't climb inside it.
Maybe if I just pull my legs up to my chest and bend my head a little...
Yeah... it's really, really, really tiny. 3.3 x 2.2 x 1.4 cm to be exact.
Essentially, this is a solar powered car stripped down to its very basics. The kit is assembled with screws and snap-together parts. Three gear ratios are available-1.7:1, 2.2:1, and 3.4:1-making this quite a zippy little toy.
The solar panel (0.5V-12mAh) is attached to a ball pivot. This allows the vehicle to collect sunlight (or strong artificial light) at various angles.
The only downside (aside from the fact that its just not gonna be able to get me to-and-from work due to it's ant-like size) is that it can't turn. The Tamiya Solar Powered Car Assembly Kit is not a remote-controlled vehicle.
It is, however, an excellent educational tool concerning what could become the future of transportation energy.
This little item can be found at Amazon.com and ThinkGeek.com.