By JAMES MCDANIEL and ANNA TURNERMANEDANAN,Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) It’s the future of electric cars, but it’s not going to happen for another decade or more.
With electric cars on the rise and a growing number of consumers opting for more environmentally friendly cars, auto makers are now trying to find ways to make the most of the technology.
And they’re taking a page from Tesla Motors, the maker of the electric vehicle.
With the electric car boom, Tesla plans to make some of the cars in its lineup available to customers for $1,000 or less.
The automaker said Wednesday it plans to begin selling a few hundred of the vehicles in 2017, with more coming next year.
The cars, which are made by a California company called SolarCity, are all equipped with solar panels, and they are charged by solar-generated electricity that is supplied by an onboard battery pack.
SolarCity also sells electric car batteries for $2,500 to $3,000.
The cars will start at $2 to $4,000 for the cheapest models.
Tesla has said the vehicles can travel more than 300 miles on a single charge, and can reach 80 miles per charge with a 12-volt battery pack, compared with the electric cars currently on the market.
Solar City’s models can go up to 200 miles on full charge, compared to the electric vehicles currently on sale.
The vehicles have also made a big splash on social media.
One posted to Instagram by a user identified as @jason_graham said: ‘SolarCity is a company that is very proud of being the first to bring a sustainable energy option to the market, and we are very excited to be making electric cars available to the public in 2017.’
Tesla said it expects the SolarCity vehicles to sell out within a month or two.
It is currently the only U.S. automaker to offer an electric car.
Solar-powered vehicles have been touted as a way to cut pollution and boost energy use by using a small amount of energy.
It has been used to power Tesla vehicles and to generate electricity for home use.
The car companies say the solar-powered cars can cut the average carbon dioxide emissions in U.N. climate change targets by at least 40 percent compared to an average gasoline vehicle.
Solar panels are used to capture energy from sunlight and convert it into electricity.
They are also used in homes and businesses to power the air conditioners and refrigerators.