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How to Make a Solar Powered Car – 5 Steps (with Pictures)

Written by K. Miller / Fact checked by J. Fussell

how to make a solar powered cars

Unquestionably, building a solar-powered toy car sounds attractive to many of us. It is a vehicle operated using the energy generated from the sun. In short, it doesn’t require any fuel to work. The sunshine which we obtain through the solar panel could be used later.

So, how to make a solar powered car? To enable a toy solar car to operate, we will need to utilize a direct current motor to move it. This is because the panel will form a direct current flow of electricity.

We’ll share the necessary materials and procedures required to carry out a solar powered car project in this post. Let’s have a more in-depth discussion on this topic below.

What Is a Solar-powered Car?


A solar car refers to a type of vehicle that operates using the energy acquired from the sun. The energy obtained is kept on the solar panel, which the vehicle will utilize later. The vehicle charges its battery through a solar panel or sunlight. A solar-powered car primarily depends on a solar array that uses a PV cell that transforms sunshine into electricity.

Indeed, when the sun’s rays hit the PV cell, the electrons are stimulated and begin to flow. This produces an electric current. Photovoltaic cells are composed of semiconductor material.

The Main Components of Solar Cars

Solar array is the primary part of a solar-powered vehicle. It accumulates the sun’s energy and transforms this energy into usable electrical energy. Not to mention, the solar cells gather a portion of the sun’s energy and save this energy into the batteries of a solar-powered vehicle.

However, before that takes place, the power trackers transform the energy accumulated from the solar array to the suitable system voltage; so that the motor and batteries can utilize it.

Then, the energy is kept in the batteries. This energy is ready for use by the motor and motor regulator to operate the vehicle. The role of the motor regulator is to adjust the amount of energy that flows to the motor so that it can integrate into the throttle.

Please be guided that the motor utilizes that energy to drive the solar vehicle’s wheels.

The Materials Required to Make Solar Cars

To get started with your DIY solar car project at home, you need to prepare the following materials first. Please remember that these tools are suitable for a small solar powerd toy car only.

Here are the materials you need to buy:

  • Motor mount
  • Soldering machine
  • Solar panel
  • Craft knife
  • DC motor
  • Tubes
  • Four wheels
  • Cardboard
  • Straw
  • Steel wires
  • Hot glue

Step-by-step guide on How to Build a Solar Car at Home


Before building your solar car, it is best to search for solar cars designs. This way, you can create a solar vehicle that matches the car design you have in mind. The delightful news is that you can search the internet for more ideas if you don’t have any yet.

So, once you already have a clear picture of the car design you prefer, you may now proceed with the steps below:

Step 1: Attach the most vital component of the solar car

In this step, you will need to link the essential component of the car that regulates the wheels; this refers to the DC motor. To do so, you have to carefully solder the wires from the DC motor directly to the vehicle’s wheels as gear.

Step 2: Cut the cardboard properly.


The next step is to get the cardboard and cut it gingerly in a rectangular shape.

Step 3: Affix the tubes on the cardboard.


Using a hot glue or glue stick, affix the tubes on the rectangular-cut cardboard. Please ensure that you allow a tiny space on the cardboard for the gear.

Step 4: Insert the wheel with gear attached inside the tube.

In this step, please make sure that the wheels are correctly attached to the shaft. Afterward, you may adjust the motor, shaft, and wheels.

Step 5: Connect the solar panel on top of the rectangular cardboard.


Using hot glue, carefully connect the panel on the above portion of the cardboard. The purpose of this is to ensure that it does not tumble. From there, you may start attaching the solar panel by the DC motor; do this by utilizing the soldering machine.

Please be guided that it’s essential to keep the solar panel in a slanting position. Lastly, you may bring your solar-powered car to a sunny spot for it to capture an ample amount of sunlight.

Meanwhile, for those who would like to help their kids work on a simple homemade solar car project, you might want to check out some solar cars kit available today. Such kits are generally easy to assemble, so even kids can get started with the DIY solar car project without struggle. Nevertheless, it is still strongly suggested to supervise your kids when working on the project.

Heads Up: You might also want to check out this video to learn how to make a solar cars on your own:

Working on the Solar-Powered Vehicle

Once your solar-powered car is all set, it is now ready to absorb a generous amount of sunlight. So, take it somewhere to be exposed to more sunshine. Position it on a flat surface and ensure that the panel is facing the sun.

When your solar car begins captivating a sufficient amount of sunlight, it will start working. On the other hand, another means of charging your solar car is using a high-power bulb on overcast days.

Applications and benefits of Solar Powered Vehicles

  • You can extend a solar car in a more commercial form of a four-wheel vehicle.
  • You can use a solar-powered vehicle in locations where fuel-based cars are outlawed due to the generation of noise and pollution.
  • The solar car concept can be used to create one four-wheel seater car in practice.
  • In solar-powered vehicles, the solar panels acquire the energy from sunshine or bright bulbs and save this energy for later use.
  • Solar powered cars don’t have fuel expenses and call for little to no maintenance.
  • Compared to cars run by traditional fuel, solar-powered cars make less noise pollution.
  • Since solar vehicles are engineered using light-weighted components; they operate sleekly and faster than standard cars.

The Bottom Line

By and large, harnessing the energy of the sun can offer us limitless benefits. Interestingly, with thorough research, some skills, and resourcefulness, working on DIY solar projects can help us better enhance our knowledge and mastery.

In this project, we showed how to make a solar powered car. We utilized a direct current motor to move the solar car since the solar panel formed a direct current flow of electricity. With suitable materials and careful attention to instructions, you can accomplish this solar vehicle DIY project with much ease.

Hopefully, you enjoyed our tutorial on how to make solar-powered cars. Please don’t forget to share it with other DIY solar projects enthusiasts out there!

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