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7 modern solar-powered vehicles

By: Bryan Nelson on July 29, 2013, 5:01 p.m.
Solar Impulse during a test flight

Photo: Denis Balibouse/AFP/Getty Images

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Solar Impulse

The groundbreaking Solar Impulse became the first solar-powered plane to make a cross-country trip across the United States earlier this year, despite a dramatic early landing due to damage to one of its wings. The five-leg journey from San Francisco to New York was a test run for a far more ambitious journey scheduled for 2015, when the vehicle is set to become the first solar plane to circumnavigate the globe.

Solar Impulse is capable of taking off and landing entirely on its own, and is capable of flying at night. It has a cruising speed of around 40 mph and has a maximum altitude of about 39,000 feet!