If you want to teach children about hydrogen power, you can always buy them a fuel cell-powered toy car like the H-ROVER or the H2GO. Should you wish to show them the merits of solar power, there are also quite a number of solar panel-equipped cars from which to choose. ToyLabs’ new Volta Racer, however, is reportedly the first toy car to feature a flexible polycrystalline silicon solar panel.
The main advantage of the flexible panel lies in the fact that it can capture sunlight from a wider variety of angles than a rigid panel. Presumably, it’s also a little more damage-resistant – a prime consideration with kids’ toys.
The car itself is reportedly made from “super-lightweight, eco-friendly, recyclable materials” (including bamboo axles) and can be put together without tools in about 15 minutes. Users can choose between assembling it in either of two solar panel configurations, and using either high- or low-speed gearing. It can move over a variety of terrains.
It is not remotely-controlled, but instead just boogies along in a straight line, or in a circle if the front axle is first angled accordingly by the user. It doesn't have a battery (yet), but ToyLabs founder Tim Curley informs us that "it runs as long as the sun is shining."
The Volta Racer is available in five colors, and is priced at US$24.99. It can be seen in action below.