Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd. has publicized just two months ago it’s been mulling the introduction of an electric vehicle completely powered by solar panels.
But since the plans for the solar-powered vehicle remain shrouded in the deepest mystery and with the company’s intention to already roll out prototypes as early as this year, analysts have become highly skeptical the solar panel producer would be able to meet its internal goals. Hanergy’s Hong Kong-listed shares jumped six times in price in just 12 months, turning the previously unknown solar panel manufacturer into the planet’s most valuable solar producer. Chairman Li Hejun announced earlier this year in an official company statement that Hanergy is hard at work with its partners and suppliers to premiere up to five solar concept vehicles by October. This week, Hanergy rekindled attention over its automotive projects after announcing it signed agreements to provide the solar cells that would assist certain systems on recreational vehicles, tour buses and catering trucks in China.
On the other hand, so far the company has not disclosed which are its partners in the quest to develop and produce cars that would rely solely on solar engine to run its complex, individual systems – with analysts and industry experts predicting such vehicles would need significant technological breakthroughs to become commercially viable. “Selling panels to other companies for integration is a business that makes sense for Hanergy. It’s a far cry from designing or building their own cars,” commented Charles Yonts, which leads sustainable research at brokerage CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets in Hong Kong.