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Missouri Draws Up Plans to Pave Route 66 With Solar Panels

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Best Road Trip Drives: Route 66

Route 66 is one of the most beloved, oldest, and most historic highways in all of America, inspiring road trips, merchandise, and relaxed jazz songs (and it sings!). Now, though, that historic drive might claim another historic title: the first highway to incorporate embedded solar panels.

The Missouri department of transportation is currently planning to add large, hexagonal photovoltaic paving tiles to one section of the famous route by the end of 2016, although the agency doesn’t seem certain of the details, as there is no mention of how much area the solar panels will cover, nor is there any information on how much electricity the state hopes the cells will generate.

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Most likely, this is because Missouri has decided it will crowdfund the solar road, at the same time lowering costs to the government and bringing attention back to the historic highway. Route 66 has somewhat fallen into disinterest after the highway and the towns it passes through were cut off from the usual traffic due to construction on the interstate highway system. The state of Illinois has already begun building EV charging stations in eight cities along the route with support from BMW, Mitsubishi, and Nissan.

Of course, there is some worry that the panels, supplied by crowdfunded company Solar Roadways, won’t be able to hold up to the abuse heaped on roads every year, for several years. In addition, just how much energy will be produced is also a little up in the air, as solar panels laid flat on the ground don’t absorb as much energy as slanted roof-mounted panels.

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News Source: Green Car Reports

  • Daniel SuscoEditor

    Daniel Susco is a native of the Dayton-Cincinnati area, and has written on a multitude of subjects. He can discuss Shakespeare, expound on Classical Mythology, and even make witty jokes about Pliny the Elder (More like “Pliny the Rounder,” right?). In his free time, Daniel enjoys reading, cooking, woodworking, and long walks on the beach (just kidding – sunburn is no joke). See more articles by Daniel.