Solar panels on cars?
With solar panels falling in price and improving their efficiency, and on the other hand electric cars increasing their autonomy, we are about to see electric cars that have built-in solar panels that help them charge their batteries somewhat, and therefore help improve their autonomy and independence from the charging point.
This is obvious and we are about to see it in several new models of electric cars. I cite just a few: Mercedes EQXX, Toyota Prius and BZ4X, Lightyear, Aptera, Sions of Sono Motors company, etc… And some of these models even have a few thousand cars already pre-sold.
There are several companies that announce models for next year and the following ones, which will incorporate solar panels on the roof and the engine hood of their cars. This fact will produce a load that will allow them to travel a few tens of kilometers, and for very little additional cost, their autonomy will be improved.
Naturally, this will be more effective in geographical areas with greater sun exposure. And since it is estimated that the cost of these solar panels will be in the order of a few hundred euros (not many), it can be profitable to place them in many cases.
The most curious case is that of the Lightyear company that intends to launch a solar car with a starting price of more than 200,000 euros. I don’t think many people will be willing to pay that amount, although I can be wrong and some do it for the “novelty”.
The other models that I mentioned, with the exception of Mercedes, have target prices of between 20,000 and 40,000 euros (depending on the model). And in those cases it is feasible that they have a certain market, especially for people who travel a few kilometers in areas with abundant sunshine.
On the other hand, if solar panels continue to drop in price (and they are going to), it would not be uncommon for many companies to offer the option of installing solar panels on their electric cars in a few years. It is not unreasonable.
We will see what they offer us in the near future.