Tesla Rooftop Solar Panel Startup Looking to Add 60 Miles of Range
The battery range of Tesla vehicles and other EVs continues to grow and get more impressive. However, EV manufacturers aren’t the only ones trying to expand their range. A handful of startups are working to develop batteries and other EV technologies to push EV driving range to a remarkable level. One startup looks to use solar panels as an extension of the driving range of Tesla Models.
EV Solar Kits looks to cover Tesla roofs with solar panels
According to Futurism, this tech startup called EV Solar Kits is looking to take advantage of the open real estate atop Tesla models. Their goal is to implement rooftop solar panels that charge the car continuously as its driving. Allegedly, implementing one of these rooftop kits could add up to 60 miles of range per day.
Furthermore, Steele Wasik, the co-founder of EV Solar Kits, claims that these kits will fit atop the roof of a Model 3 or Model Y. Additionally, Wasik claims that their product will not void Tesla warranties. The company claims that its product will cost $5,000. Additionally, Wasik claims that they are working on an extended trunk-top solar panel assembly that will work with any electric vehicle.
“There’s just so many variables when it comes to EVs. It’s kind of the Wild West right now. I wanted to see if I could take a swing at solving these problems with an aftermarket product,” Wasik told Futurism.
Tesla owners shouldn’t get their wallets out yet, though. This company is still very much in its infancy. Wasik claims that they have thousands of potential customers on an email list and are already beta testing the product in Texas. However, Wasik described the company as being in a “pre-seed” stage. They’re planning on launching a crowdfunding campaign in the near future once they have a more definite product.
Overall, this is a fantastic idea. It’ll be a winner if it can come to fruition without being too bulky, expensive, or draggy. Furthermore, making it compatible with the terms of Tesla’s warranty is a fantastic achievement. Hopefully, then, EV Solar Kits can make this dream a reality.
EV Rooftop solar panels are not a new concept
Some models of the Nissan Leaf have a rooftop solar panel that charges only the 12-volt battery system. This allows things like the radio and other interior electric equipment to run independently of the vehicle’s drive battery. So, the Leaf does not use the rooftop panel to extend the driving range. However, it does prove that rooftop solar panels on an EV is at least a feasible concept.
The Nissan Leaf’s panel, though, is an amorphous panel that can generate solar power even in non-ideal weather conditions. This could be problematic for EV Solar Kits, as charging a full Tesla battery pack requires a lot more juice than a small 12-volt car battery. On a rainy or cloudy day, there’s a chance all the solar panels on the roof of a Tesla would be doing is weighing the car down more.
Overall, the concept is exciting and definitely has some merit. It’s going to be great to see how this product develops and put eyes on a production-ready product.