Dream Car 123

Solar Electric Car

By Sophia Chan

In 2006, George Zanis in Sugar Grove, Illinois invented Dream Car 123, a solar electric car. This pyramid-shaped car moved at 45 mph on an 80-mi range and cost over $60k in supplies alone. Fast forward to 2008, and this new car traveled 240 miles in a 3.5-hr, $5 electric charge. It cost about $8k in supplies, and a mass production model put it somewhere between $16k and $24k for consumer costs. Dream Car 123 runs on 80 lead-acid batteries and 4 motors; it also contains a dramatic neon lighting system and bulletproof glass. The pyramid shape is for leveraging head winds to produce downward forces to hold the car on the road. Back in 2008, Zanis and his son wanted to add lithium-ion batteries to achieve 2-4 times the distance per charge, targeting speeds as high as 200 mph. Unfortunately, they abandoned the idea when funds ran low for their next prototype, even going as far as selling their Dream Car 123 on eBay.