17/04/2024
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A teacher in India makes a solar car, here’s what makes this car special

A beautiful mind is enough to change the face of technology.ย  A mathematician by profession, Bilal Ahmed from Kashmir’s Srinagar Valley has once again proved that nothing is unachievable.ย  You don’t need billions in high-profile funding and high-end lab facilities to invent something new.

Bilal transformed the Maruti 800 into a fully functional and luxurious solar car.  He often drives the car proudly around town.

He says he was always intrigued by the idea of โ€‹โ€‹making an affordable luxury car that could rival BMW and Mercedes.  Furthermore, they wanted to make the car sustainable and feature-rich that everyone could afford.  A fully functional solar car checks all the boxes it’s designed for.

He plans to open a company that will mass produce his solar car for everyone.  He plans to name his solar car company YMC.  He named the solar car after his two children.

Some amazing features of solar car:

Environmentally friendly

A fully automatic solar car

Gull-wing or falcon wing design doors

Efficient solar charging even in low sunlight

Do You know Bilal Ahmed?

A mathematician by profession, Bilal Ahmed is the Innovator for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship Development at NIT, Srinagar branch.  She is getting a lot of publicity on social media after a newspaper journalist took her interview.  Bilal has a degree in civil engineering, though his interest lies in a more specialised field.

Bilal has been teaching mathematics for 14 years, working with various schools and colleges.  In fact, he invented an app and a device in 2009 that remotely switches off LPG cylinders.  From the beginning his interests were towards influencing more technical fields.

A teacher in India builds a solar car

What motivated him to make a solar car?

He belongs to Sanat Nagar area of โ€‹โ€‹Srinagar valley and used to frequent the area in his solar car for two years.  However, they were not interested in making solar cars for everyone from the beginning.  He initially wanted a car specially designed for disabled people but had to abandon his concept due to lack of funds for the project.  Moreover, there was no help from the government or any other organisation at that time.  He said in an interview to “Rising Kashmir” newspaper

โ€œThe government did not help me at that time.  I was not financially sound so I could not afford the cost of innovation.

Bilal was greatly influenced by the cars produced after 1950 and how technological changes were brought about in those cars.  He closely followed the engineer behind DMC’s Gull-Winged DeLorean, James DeLorean.  Its current design is remarkably similar to and heavily influenced by the 1983 DeLorean.  He mentioned in his interview how he saw the gap between the rich and the common people to afford luxury cars.  He said,

โ€œCars like Mercedes, Ferrari, BMW are just a dream for the common man.  Only a few are able to afford such cars while it remains a dream to drive and roam around in them.  I thought of something to give people a luxurious experience.

He first thought of turning the car towards more sustainable energy when he saw rising fuel prices around the world.  They decided to make this car solar powered but at the same time more affordable and luxurious.  It took him around 11 years to complete the project, and now the car is not a prototype but a fully functional solar car.

What is special about this solar car?

Bilal was determined to make the car affordable and sustainable.  So, he started watching videos of car modifications and implemented the idea with those skills.  He wanted his creation to have the best features and make it fully automated.  Moreover, various challenges continuously challenged his plan.

They have grown beyond all those obstacles and have done all this without getting any external funding to meet the expenses.  He took the help of various experts in the field to learn about solar panels and automobiles.  But it’s still hard to believe that they were able to create this solar car for less than $19,000.

The demographics of Kashmir, where Bilal lives, are generally dark and receive very little sunlight during winter.  Furthermore, being a solar car, they were falling behind in the efficiency of getting enough power from the solar panels.  He made several trips to solar panel manufacturers to overcome low-efficiency solar panels.  He went to Chennai to get more knowledge about how he can effectively use solar panels in his solar car.

He said the car’s surface area is small enough to require enough solar panels for his project.  Here comes the DeLorean who decided to turn his car doors into a gull-wing style like the DMC car.  Gull-wing doors were a common sight on cars produced around the 1950s.  However, gull-wing or falcon-wing style doors were mostly reserved for sports cars.

This idea helped Bilal to get more surfaces to put solar panels and get enough sunlight when they are open.

Specifications of Solar Car

Designed by Bilal Ahmed, the Solar Sports Car is designed to fit 4 adults comfortably in its cabin.  However, traditional style cars have seating for two adults in their cabin.  The solar panels in the car are of the monocrystalline type which allows them to work more efficiently even in less space.

The falcon style doors help in getting more sunlight and are remotely operated within a range of 1.5 km.  A remote designed for solar panels can change the direction of the panels as the sun’s direction changes throughout the day.

Bilal used a lead-acid battery inside the car, requiring another electric circuit to protect the lithium battery.  However, he rejoices at how he has finally realised his dream of building an eco-friendly, fully automated solar car himself.  He wants to change the perception of his local fellows to replace the ordinary looking electric vehicles with more tech-savvy attractive ones.

The Interpretation

Bilal Ahmed is an example of hope blossoming despite no significant help or environment to invent something extraordinary.  He did something unconventional and required tremendous effort to turn it into reality.  Moreover, he made this solar car without any financial help from anyone.  He wants to start his company YMC and create promising employment opportunities for the youth of Kashmir.

Bilal proudly drives his solar car and always gets compliments from onlookers.  But he mentions how difficult it was to come this far with the project because the necessary resources and techniques were not readily available.  A lot can be done by the government to help such emerging talent.  We are in awe of Bilal’s story and dedication to his dream car.  However, we are still waiting to know more technical details about his car.

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