Charging Electric Vehicles by solar power seems farfetched because of the high power requirements of a battery and the large space for a solar panel. It is generally assumed that the vehicle must be held-up stationarily for long hours to be charged from solar panels. But that is not the case so far. It is now not just possible to charge vehicles with solar power, they can be charged while at motion and even with much efficiency at that. Here are some examples of some companies bringing out the best of sustainable transportation – a vehicle that can charge itself(at least partially)
Lightyear – Solar panels on hood and roof of the car
Lightyear developed its technology for solar panels on its Lightyear One. The solar roof of this car consists of five square meters of integrated solar cells protected by ultra-strong, double curved safety glass. These capture continual sunlight regardless of whether the car is driving or stationary. This means that the solar roof in an optimized vehicle such as the Lightyear One can generate enough electricity to cover on average between 70-90% of its annual mileage.
Squad – small city car with a solar roof
A 2 person solar car for urban mobility which could reach a 45kmph top limit. Body panels and doors are deliberately left out to keep costs low, and for efficiency, ruggedness, durability and easy access. A full roll cage with seat belts and 4-wheel stability offer safety for all passengers perfectly suitable for fleet/shared mobility.
AEV – Solar powered self-driving car
It developed an innovative solar-powered driverless electric vehicle, and is four years into developing a prototype of its driverless Modular Vehicle System (MVS) that’s designed to cover short distances at low speeds but, unlike more conventional EV designs, can be charged by solar panels embedded into its roof. According to AEV, the MVS will generate up to 60 percent of its energy requirements from the sun and will have a smaller battery pack than ones currently used in EVs, which will allow for quick charging via a standard 240-volt socket. ()
Hyundai – Solar panels on a hybrid car
has joined with its new version of its hybrid car, Sonata – between 30 and 60 percent of the vehicle’s battery can be recharged by its solar panels.
Toyota – Solar panels on a hybrid car
Along with Sharp and the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Toyota has put a special test vehicle together that uses solar panels to generate almost 1 kW of energy during daylight hours, whether the vehicle is driving or sitting.