This Solar Powered Electric Car Idea is Epic: But Here’s Why It Doesn’t Work!


This Solar Powered Electric Car Idea is Epic: But Here%u2019s Why It Doesn%u2019t Work!

It’s, something we’re, asked on a regular basis. Why doesn’t Tesla and other companies that make electric cars, make their cars rubes out of solar panels, letting you drive along the road using nothing, but the power of the Sun? Recently Hugh IKEA has announced it’s.

Putting solar panels on its cars revealing a new solar roof technology that it hopes to introduce to cars from 2019 onwards. Those panels it says, will reduce pollution and increase fuel efficiency, and so we’re about to get those same questions again.

So I figured it was time to make a video to explain this once and for all before I do, though, let’s. Look at the logic behind these type of questions. It usually follows the following thought: patterns: solar panels, make electricity and electric cars run on electricity, and batteries and batteries are expensive.

So why can’t? You just make a solar-powered car. It’s, usually a company to buy a recollection that some cars do in fact already have solar panels on their roofs or the memory of seeing a solar-powered car racing across the Australian outback.

All reference to the new sonar Scion, a small new electric car from a European startup that does indeed have photovoltaic solar panels all over its body. If these cars already exist were asked why isn’t everyone doing, it simply put the whole photovoltaic panel on a car idea.

Hasn’t made it into mainstream production, yet at least in terms of a photovoltaic panel that can be actually used to provide solar power to move the car down the road because of cost power density and the practicality of solar panels.

Let’s deal with them one by one. First, let’s, look at cost and for this one we’re, going to ignore power density, which I’ll, come to in a second while the price of photovoltaic solar panels are coming down considerably.

If we assumed an automotive solar panel existed, that could provide six kilowatts of peak power. That would be enough to charge a car like a Chevy bolt from empty to 80 %, fill in 8 to 10 hours in ideal conditions, accounting for some system losses.

That is, that would add an extra $ 6,000 or so to the price of your car. In addition, you’d, need to add a lot of extra power conversion – electronics, not to mention the standard onboard charger to let you charge from the mains at night, so you’d end up with a via less efficient car.

Then you’d, have if you just had the photovoltaic panels on your roof at home, even if you just had one kilowatts of peak power, maybe even less and used it to top your car up during the day, while you were parked at work.

Installing a photovoltaic solar system onto the roof of your car would add additional production costs to your vehicle, while solar panels are a lot more lightweight than they once were. You’d, have to integrate them into vehicle roofs during production and that’s, something that would likely add complexity and cost to the manufacturing process, which in turn would increase the sticker price in an age where people are already complaining about.

The price of electric cars that’s, not a smart move. Okay, let’s. Look at power density! Then solar panels traditionally have a pretty low power density relative to their surface area, which means in order to produce a decent amount of power.

You need a pretty large amount of surface area to do so, and you have to angle them right for the Sun simply put there’s, just not enough surface area on your average electric car to store enough solar panels to produce the energy.

It would need to charge up during the day some clever DIY enthusiasts have succeeded by building a solar canopy on the back of a lightweight electric pickup to charge their truck from a few kilowatts of power every day, but a design like that would never make it Into a production car because of aerodynamic and safety concerns those some races, you see zipping across the desert.

Well, they do have enough surface area to provide power that they need, because these cars are super lightweight and powered by ultra efficient electric motors. Often an order of magnitude smaller than the motors found in production electric vehicles, and so they require less power to function again.

They not past safety testing for production cars because they also lack the usual things would expect in a car like airbags. They also lack climate control and somewhere to put your shopping. As for the Sonos Scion.

Well, it uses super efficient, mono crystalline silicon cells protected by a layer of polycarbonate. Even then, though, the 330 modules on the car have a maximum power output of 1.2. Kilowatts and add an average of 10 kilometers at 6.

2 miles per day range over the course of a year. Finally, let’s. Talk practicality, while you might think dirt would play a big impact on how much energy your car would make from its solar panels. You’d, really have to take it in heavy metal dust before noticing a really big drop in power.

However, things like collision damage would affect your solar panel output if it was anywhere but the roof of the car, and that would, of course, likely increase repair costs. If we add up the negatives cost, weight, power density and the likelihood that your car won’t always be parked for optimum sunlight, it makes sense to put solar panels on your home, not your car, okay.

So what about the Prius hybrid? It had solar panels and the Nissan Leaf. Gen1 came with optional ones, on the rear, spoiler and can Ikea says new solar roofs will help improve energy efficiency too. In the case of the first gen Leaf, the tiny photovoltaic panels on the roof helped trickle charge.

The cars 12-volt battery system, the one that powers things like the lights and the cars telematics that’s, not the traction battery, the one that the car needs to use to drive along the road in the earlier third generation, Prius optional, solar panels were Used exclusively to run a small phone inside the car to help it stay cool on hot days, but the newer generation Prius prime, does in fact come with an optional solar panel system that can actually charge the cars traction battery.

Adding about two and a half miles of range per day in ideal conditions, that again is the goal of whom they Kia, with their solar ruse for future hybrid and electric models range supplementation, not fully.

Electric Sun powered driving in addition in IKEA hopes putting its solar panel roof on its internal combustion engine. Cars will improve overall efficiency, since it will be drawing power from the solar system to operate ignition electronics.

That in turn will meet a traditional alternator powered off the internal combustion engine will not always be required and that in turn will reduce engine load and thus improve engine efficiency. So there you have it for now.

Solar panels on electric cars and non electric cars are pretty much a gimmick in most cases and in many cases they’re expensive to want to have a solar powered car until solar panel, energy density and efficiencies grow by an order of magnitude and A price drops by this Thayne, you’re, better off with photovoltaic panels on the roof of your home.

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