Our project is entitled “ Solar Parking” and its main idea is the creation of a public parking for hybrid and electric cars, with the option of charging these cars with solar energy sources, so while the people are working they park their cars in this parking lot and the cars can be recharged. This project's main objective is to reduce the pollution caused by fuel-powered cars and raise awareness on how hybrid or electric car are more environmentally-friendly.
The discussions about the possible projects started last year with all members giving suggestions for problems, some ideas and possible projects that could be applied. As we researched more about the problems in our city, a topic often cited was the excess of combustion vehicles and the environmental problems caused by these cars.
Very present problems nowadays are the long lines of cars, the time lost due to traffic and the extreme difficulty in finding available parking spots. We decided to combine these problems, and therefore we developed the idea of the Solar Parking project: a parking lot for electric cars that is charged from solar panels. With the implementation of a Solar Parking, the number of electric and hybrid vehicles would increase and, consequently this would decrease the number of combustion cars, which will make the air less polluted and healthier for the population and for the environment. The number of parking spots would also increase which would impact positively the time spent in traffic.
In order to have a deeper knowledge of electric and hybrid cars functioning and characteristics, we studied Renault's models: Zoe and Elola, regarding their usefulness, accessibility, and other criteria.
Then, we decided to make a research to assess people’s knowledge and perceptions about electric and hybrid cars and their opinion on a solar Parking. We used google forms and shared our questions with relatives and friends. 52 people answered our survey. Of our sample, 50% of people have a basic knowledge of the main characteristics of electric and hybrid cars, 63% have insufficient knowledge of how much fuel a combustion car spends, 88% know the impact of combustion-powered cars in the environment, 65% know the benefit of a solar parking, 44% would be interested in buying an electric car and 48% would consider this possibility, near 80% don’t know neither Renault’s Zoe electric car model and Renault’s Eolab hybrid model. Finally, 96% would support the project of a solar Parking.
The main objective of our project is to minimize the production of CO2 caused by ordinary vehicles, this would encourage people to use electric or hybrid cars, as they bring benefits such as lower cost to maintain the car, cheaper maintenance and not having to pay some bills on the vehicle. One way of attracting consumers to cars more environmentally-friendly would be a solar Parking, for instance.
Thinking on places where solar parks could be implemented, we realized that places near downtown (close to companies) and places near industries in further regions would be good options since it would also allow to balance the pollution generated in such places.
We created a 3D Model and a powerpoint presentation to explain the benefits of our project and we shared it with our colleagues using virtual platforms since it was the only possible way to communicate with the confinement and remote classes.
Although our preferential target audience would be drivers we thought it was important to share it with teenagers, our colleagues, because they will be the future drivers. Therefore, if they already know which vehicles to buy and which are less harmful to the environment, they can make choices that will help to reduce the pollution and make our lives healthier.