SunVee stands for Solar Utility Neighborhood Vehicle. This is a concept for a solar neighborhood electric vehicle.

Solar: Solar-electric panels are integrated with the body to charge batteries which power an electric motor.

Utility: This is a practical vehicle for trips with passengers and cargo as well.

Neighborhood: The range is about 30 miles and the top speed is about 25 miles/hour, making this vehicle useful for within your neighborhood.

Vehicle: This is a vehicle for transforming our consciousness about how we use energy.

SunVee Concept


This is a sketch of a possible SunVee design. The photovoltaic panels would be incorporated into the body at three locations.


The concept for the SunVee is similar to the Sunmobile in many respects, but divergent in others. Most of the deficiencies of the Sunmobile would be improved in this evolution.

Enclosure: TheSunVee would have the option of being completely enclosed for weather protection and security. The chassis and body would be made almost exclusively of molded and colored recycled plastic. Flexible amorphous photovoltaic panels would be permanently fixed to portions of the body. The doors would be removable for fair weather use. The body would be a bit wider than the Sunmobile, with a seat that might accomodate three people. Cargo space behind the seat would be accessable from either the front or from a rear hatch.

Speed and Power: The one hp motor of the Sunmobile would be increased to three hp for the SunVee. This would greatly enhance the acceleration and speed potential, so that it will be able to keep up with traffic on any road posted at 25 mph. The Sunmobile must be geared way down and travels very slowly up hills.

Transmission: An upgrade to a hydraulic transaxle should allow smoother acceleration without shifting gears, no need for a clutch, and quieter operation. The Sunmobile requires frequent shifting and the centrigugal clutch is fairly noisy. Because the SunVee will be noticeably heavier than the Sunmobile, the human-powered pedalling option will be eliminated.

Suspension: The SunVee will have a true suspension, for a more comfortable ride, better cornering and less abuse to the chassis and body. The Sunmobile has no suspension.

Tires: The SunVee will have wider, more substantial tires that are designed for greater weight and durability. The tires on the sunmobile are barely adequate, industrial bike tires.


Solar-electric panel


Photovoltaics: The charging capacity will be doubled, with four instead of two 75 watt solar panels. This should compensate for the increase in energy use of the larger motor.

Steering: The SunVee will have wheel or butterfly steering, as opposed to the handle bars of the Sunmobile.

Brakes: An upgrade to disc brakes on all four wheels will enable secure and responsive braking. There will also be a parking brake.

Other safety features: The Sunvee will comply with all Federal and state requirements for Low Speed Vehicles. This includes windshield wiping and washing systems, front and rear turn signals, tail and stop lights, three rearview mirrors and seat belts.

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