As the world begins to reimagine what the future of travel will look like in order to reduce CO2 emissions, both the form and function of cars are changing. It is apparent that the future of travel belongs to electrification, but where there is a battery there becomes a demand in power.
Solar Energy is not only helping homes and businesses across the world transition towards a greener way of living, but it is now also becoming a solution to many of our electric mobilities problems.
Read on to discover 5 of the latest cars with solar panels, and how Solar Energy is changing the way we travel.
Cars With Solar Panels
As we begin to make the transition from gas to electric cars, there has been a lot of innovation surrounding car charging. As fuel prices continue to rise, and power-cuts becoming more regular due to more demand on the National Grid, charging your electric car from solar panels is becoming a popular solution. But wouldn’t a self-charging car be even more of an ideal solution? That’s what several car manufactures thought so too, and as a result solar panels on cars have become a more common site. And here are some of our favourites!
Sion is an all electric car, that can charge itself completely from the sun. The 465 half cell panels integrated into the body of the solar powered car can add up to 245km of driving range a week to this electric car. Making the self-charging car more than sufficient for short distance drives.
The Sion has a range of up to 305 kilometers, and can charge to 80% in just 35 minutes at a fast charging station. With the Sion you can charge in many ways. From the sun, from any public charging station in Europe, via a regular home power socket or even from another Sion car! Yes, that’s right. The solar powered car’s bidirectional charger means that you can share your self-generated power to recharge other electric vehicles too!
Although Hyundai is yet to release an electric car covered in solar panels, they are set to release their first car to implement a solar roof charging system. The New Sonata Hybrid Includes a solar roof system made up of a silicon solar panel structure, capable of charging 30 to 60 per cent of the car’s battery per day. The system is set to reduce CO2 emissions even further, and is expected to provide 1,300 km solar miles each year.
With the aim of becoming a clean mobility provider, Hyundai are are set to roll out its new eco-tech across several vehicles in its range.
Unlike Sion, Aptera has taken a more futuristic style for its solar-powered vehicle. Its distinct aerodynamics and unique flow is set to reduce the car’s energy requirements by 30%, as Aptera aim to reimagine the shape of transportation. Its aerodynamic design, lightweight choice of materials and solar recharging capabilities, make the Aptera car one of the most efficient cars in the current market.
Aptera is the first Solar Electric Vehicle that can require no charging for most daily use, providing 40 miles of solar-powered driving a day. The solar electric car can travel up to 1,000 miles on a single charge, and is said to reduce the owner’s annual carbon footprint by 14,000 pounds of CO2!
The Aptera Solar Electric Vehicle has a starting price of $25,900 and is available to pre-order.
The solar powered car unlike traditional EVs, doesn’t depend on plug-in charging alone, but charges from its 5 M² of curved solar panels located on it’s roof and hood. Lightyear 0’s integrates 782 IBC mono-crystalline silicon solar cells, capable of yielding up to 11,000 solar km a year. With a peak solar charging speed of 1.05 kW, this electric car can yield up to 70 km of additional range per day, and drive for months without being plugged in to charge.
What’s more, the Lightyear cars are also crafted from naturally sourced materials, including: plant-based leather, recycled PET bottle fabrics and reclaimed carbon fibre. This only enhances the solar panel car’s sustainability.
Now in production the Lightyear 0 claims to be the world’s first solar electric car, the most aerodynamic and efficient also. The dutch mobility startup are aiming to bring clean mobility to the masses and their first model, the Lightyear 0, despite it’s hefty price tag of €250,000, already has around 150 pre-orders!
Elon Musk has stated that the much anticipated Tesla CyberTruck will have the add-on option of solar panels. Tesla’s design for the Cybertruck roof cover was revealed in a recent patent application. The solar roof accessory for the Cybertruck will add about 15 additional solar miles per day, and 30 to 40 with the fold out wings. Confirmed by Elon Musk himself in a series of tweets.
The CEO of Telsa has been pushing his engineers to look into integrating solar cells on the Tesla Model 3 since 2017, as solar cell efficiency has improved, including solar panels on the Cybertruck just makes sense. Especially with the research and development the electric car company has put into their solar roof tiles.
Is Solar Energy The Future of Travel?
Mobility has become a basic human essential, and sustainably generated electricity could be key to the process of vehicle electrification. Whilst the price point of cars with solar panels are currently out of reach for many, the future belongs to green vehicles. With continuous technological improvements, and the demand to protect our environment, solar powered cars will certainly play a key role in our future.
If like us you are a Solar Energy enthusiast, make sure to check out our Youtube Channel @deegesolar for all things solar panel related.