‘SERVe’ India’s 1st passenger solar car developed by SolarMobil Manipal students

We all love cars, in fact it is the second most valuable possession we have after our houses. Our life is so much dependent on these machines, they give us a sense of freedom and the ability to move around in a fast and comfortable manner. It has become a necessity for every family and individual to own a car. These are the reasons why we have more than 1.4 billion cars on road, in the world, with over 360 car companies manufacturing cars at a rate of 70 million every year. I hope these figures surely are matching the demand, we have created. I am not against the fact that we need these machines for our day to day works, but these cars come along with their dependency on fossil fuels.  

Talking about the solutions, we should start adopting electric vehicles, but a huge amount of R&D is required in the field of storage devices, to make this market grow. So, why not promote a new technology that can be the answer to our worries, I am talking about the Solar Cars. This technology has been showing the world since 1987 that it has the immense potential to cross large distances and continents only by using the power from the sun. I don’t know why people find it so hard to believe, that a car can run using power from the sun. All the electrical and electronic devices are highly efficient; you even cut down on the noise pollution, with no tail pipes. It is just another hybrid car which has a solar roof generating energy during the day and thus charging the battery power and giving us an extended range.  

At times when the world is pushing towards greener and cleaner forms of mobility, engineering students from Manipal University are also trying to put in their
efforts and have come up with SERVe. Clubbed together because of their passion towards automobiles, a group of 27 students, under the name of SolarMobil
Manipal have designed and manufactured SERVe – India’s first passenger solar car prototype.  

Team SolarMobil was formed in 2011 to work in this direction towards mastering this wonderful technology and build prototypes which would be tested to get results based on which a reliable family solar car could be built. Students from Manipal Institute of technology are working hard to build India’s first family solar car, We present to you SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle).   

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SERVe has contributions from the students and the industry as well in the form of sponsorship to the innovative project. The overall project has costed close to INR 25,00,000 which includes costs of manufacturing of the car, sponsored components from the industry and promotional and awareness generating activities.  

The team had first built ‘Freyr1′, a single seater solar car, but later they decided to make something bigger and more practical for civilian use. Hence, the idea of SERVe took birth. The car has a cruising speed of 30 kmph and can cover a distance of 150 kms on a fully charged battery. The vehicle also features the concept of ‘Direct Solar Drive’, which allows the car to run directly from solar energy with minimal acceleration. Driver is informed regularly about the status of the car and the charge remaining in the battery through an LED screen, which allows him/her to plan the trip accordingly.  

Throughout the course of the project, SolarMobil Manipal managed to raise sponsorship for the same, without which many such attempts by students have hit the brakes, if not dead end. Tata Power Solar has sponsored the Solar Module for SERVe. In the recent past, SERVe managed to bag the third best innovation award at the India Innovation Initiative 2014 organised by i4c India in collaboration with the Department of Science and Technology, Confederation of Indian Industry
(CII)  CII and All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE).  

Just like SolarMobil Manipal, there are many other student teams across the nation which are trying to design and build vehicles which have the potential to
address the needs of the greener future. There are many student competitions across the globe like the SAE Supermileage and the Shell Eco-Marathon, which
spark the debate about the future of mobility and inspire young engineers to push their boundaries.

The event gives the teams an exposure and brings their
technical as well as their managerial skills to manufacture an impressive and competitive vehicle. Indian student teams have been performing well recently in
the global competitions and we wish them all the best for their future endeavors. (Source: Indiancarsbikes)

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