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Manipal Institute of Technology launches its first prototype solar car

April 23, 2015

On April 22, Tata Power Solar, India’s largest integrated solar player and Manipal Institute of Technology, India’s leading technology institute, which is a constituent of Manipal University, unveiled SERVe (Solar Electric Road Vehicle), the university’s first prototype solar car ready for exploring commercial viability. Designed by students of SolarMobil team, with an intention of commercial usage, the vehicle is custom-fit with bespoke solar panels designed by Tata Power Solar. SERVe is the perfect showcase of an industry-academia effort that will help increase the role of solar innovation in green mobility, with an objective of proliferation of eco-vehicles.
This four-wheeled prototype, run solely on solar energy, was designed by the SolarMobil team of 27 student enthusiasts. Weighing 590 kg, this two-seater solar car can reach up to 60 kmph with a cruising speed of 30 Kmph.

Designed keeping in mind the mobility and commercial viability, the solar panels have been custom-made to fit the car’s curved surface enhancing the aerodynamics and performance of the vehicle. The highly efficient customised panels weigh just 35kg, provide upto 960 watts power and weigh less than half of the conventional panels. The car also houses a Direct Solar Drive, powered by solar panels, to maintain the cruising speed and is supplemented by extra power from its high-end energy storage system.

Speaking on the project, Dr P Giridhar Kini, associate director, Manipal University said, “We are extremely happy to see how our students have combined their passion for green energy, through the launch of SERVe. Industry-academia collaboration is the key to foster innovation among the student community. Hence, working with corporates like Tata Power Solar helped our students get technical support and knowledge transfer. The team looks forward to working with more companies for future projects and to continue to nurture student-level innovation.”

“We are pleased to be part this project driven by a talented student-team. This project epitomises Tata Power Solar’s belief that fostering innovation is key for the proliferation of solar energy. We not only encourage innovation within our organisation but also propagate universities participation for this cause, since they can play an important role in driving innovation in partnership with the industry. The solar car is one of many ventures which we have supported, and we firmly believe India’s students will act as a key contributor in the progress of our solar industry,” said Ashish Khanna, ED & CEO, Tata Power Solar.

The core members of the SolarMobil team include Anudeep Reddy, Jeet Bannerjee, Siva Bhushan Reddy, Anjan Kumar, Varun Gupta, Rohan Sahdev, Madhav Lakhotia, Samay Goenka, Sulekh.P, Akshat Singh, Amol Grover and Nikhil Gumidelli.

Manipal University is synonymous with excellence in higher education. Over 28,000 students from 57 different nations live, learn and play in the sprawling university town nestled on a plateau in Karnataka’s Udupi district. To learn more, visit

With 25 years of deep domain expertise, Tata Power Solar (TPS)is one of the pioneering solar manufacturers in the world and India’s largest specialised EPC player. Founded in 1989, TPS presently boasts a strong national presence with 8 regional offices, 40 authorised service centres and a network of more than 1000 channel partners nationwide. For more information, visit

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