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Sri Lanka to make solar cars

Thursday, 6 November 2008 - 12:53 PM SL Time

Lankan News Replies

Electromobiles (Pvt) Ltd will manufacture solar powered electronic cars in Sri Lanka from next year. Speaking to Daily News Business CEO/ Managing Director of Electromobiles (Pvt) Ltd Gihan Wijethunga said they expect to commence commercial production of the car in May next year.

The company will invest Rs. 30 million for the project and the project will provide around 600 direct and indirect job opportunities.

This will be a passenger car with a solar powered panel fixed on top of the car and this solar panel will generate power to the car. This electronic car needs to be charged six to eight hours per day. It will cost only Rs. 20 to Rs. 25 per kilometre.

A fully charged car could run 120 kms and solar panels will generate additional energy on the way during sunny weather where it enables the car to run an additional 30 kms without any cost.

In average, a car runs less than 50 miles per day and this is an ideal passenger car for people who focus on the environmental impact and fuel cost.

We wanted to position this as leisure drive car. We will be importing some components of the car from China and over 30 per cent value addition will be done in Sri Lanka. Our Chinese partners will provide technical know-how and other technical assistance for the project. We are planing to have our plant in Piliyandala and initially the plant will manufacture eight cars per month , Wijethunga said.

In the future when volumes increase, the company expects to increase value addition and manufacture most of the components in Sri Lanka. However there is a good response from customers even before the car has been introduced to the market. Thirty customers have already placed orders with us , he said.

After establishing in the local market company they hope to enter into export markets with Bangladesh and Cambodia being initially earmarked. Electromobiles also planing to introduce solar power conversion facility for all the vehicles in near future. At the moment, they have already introduced solar power motor bikes to the market and there are over 2500 solar powered electric bikes running on Sri Lankan roads , he said.

There is a 25 per cent duty concession for eco-friendly vehicle imports to the country. However it is important to evaluate the quality of these vehicles.

The Government should focus on providing duty concessions for eco-friendly vehicle manufactures too. Facilitating these type of industries could save foreign exchange for the country , he said.


Related News Articles:
22-6-2008   Solar cars cruise through Prairies
8-1-2008   Solar Power

Source(s)
• Associated Press

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kiwikanga
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LK Information  6 Nov 2008 07:20:48 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Wish the company and it's ventures all the very best.

It would have been good if this news article had reference to the size of the car, speed capabilities and such other technical data.

Edited By - kiwikanga - 6 Nov 2008 07:23:43 GMT
shammie
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LK Information  6 Nov 2008 07:40:38 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Gooooooooooood work....

and good luck
snake2
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LK Information  6 Nov 2008 09:50:21 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Kiwi
It would have been good if this news article had reference to the size of the car, speed capabilities and such other technical data.


My thoughts exactly! Especially given the claims below:

This will be a passenger car with a solar powered panel fixed on top of the car and this solar panel will generate power to the car. This electronic car needs to be charged six to eight hours per day. It will cost only Rs. 20 to Rs. 25 per kilometre


I am all for it if this is a really true claim. But wow!! So these guys already have solar panels that are so efficient that they could be mounted on top of a car and make it run?? With passengers??

Having seen those 'cars' that look like upside down saucers with one driver and covered with solar panels, this must be a huge breakthrough,I feel!!

Makes you wonder why Honda, Toyota and the others are not jumping on this.

Edited to add,
Hey these guys already make some pretty cool looking electric bikes. Maybe they are actually are going to be able to meet those claims!! Impressive management team too, by the looks of it.

http://www.electromobiles.lk/profileelectromobiles.pdf

Edited By - snake2 - 6 Nov 2008 09:57:56 GMT
kinglanka
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LK Information  6 Nov 2008 10:16:32 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Wish the company and its people success & courage!
Damed
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LK Information  6 Nov 2008 12:40:34 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Excellent move...but cost per km looks bit high side.
Dauntless
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LK Information  6 Nov 2008 13:31:24 GMT  Report for Abuse  
It will cost only Rs. 20 to Rs. 25 per kilometre


well a petrol manual 1.5 litre car averages 10Kmpl in colombo driving and 12+ outstation... with present fuel prices that's little over Rs 15 per kilometre...
also one has to consider the fact that charging this car off the national grid power supply aint that eco-friendly cos at present most of our power generation comes from fossil fuel burning generators...

IMHO... this doesn't seem to be cheaper in terms of Rupees per km... it's not as eco friendly since it needs to be charged 6-8 hours per day at a cost of 20-25 bucks per km...
snake2
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LK Information  6 Nov 2008 14:00:09 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Daunty,
charging this car off the national grid power supply aint that eco-friendly

ah so! So its actually a grid powered car with supplementary energy coming from the solar panels?

So the aim is, maybe to reduce the charging time on the grid (compared to other electric cars on the market)

But I assume as you and the others have pointed out, in the end it would end up costing more than a gas powered vehicle.

Maybe a politico can buy one and use it, to make a statement. But highly unlikely, they love their gas guzzling SUVs too much.
AnuD
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LK Information  6 Nov 2008 17:49:13 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Excellent move...but cost per km looks bit high side.


that is where govt subsidies are needed or at least govt fleets should be solar cars then the cost of production goes down.
Spetsnaz1
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LK Information  8 Nov 2008 05:23:13 GMT  Report for Abuse  
They need to build these cars which can be afforded by the average income earner in Sri Lanka... this will boost a local product and the government should make sure that there should be less duties on this.. so the consumption of this cars will be much higher than that of foreign built ones.... this is a good opportunity for Sri Lanka....
Vishnu
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LK Information  8 Nov 2008 10:49:55 GMT  Report for Abuse  
Good move by a bunch of Lankan entrepreneurs. This kind of things are propping up here and there is a good sign of progress.

BTW, solar energy itself is not that eco-friendly considering the amount energy and resources utilized during the manufacturing process. In this case however, the manufacturing of solar panels are going to be in China, relocating the pollution away from our land.
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