Top 10 Electric Cars Using Solar Panels to Keep the Batteries Charged



Solar powered cars have long been discarded and ridiculed due to the cells low efficiency, heavy weight and high pricing. The major protagonist of electric vehicles, Elon Musk, even once said that “the least efficient place to put solar is on the car.” But what are we seeing now? The world is welcoming viable production-ready models and Elon has made a U-turn in his conviction by installing panels on his upcoming Cybertruck. After all there seem to be some opportunities for EVs that have no need to ever be plugged in. Today, we will make a quick round up of the already existing solar cars, so time to get excited about the sustainable feature of automaking!

More EV-related content that previous appeared on #AutomotiveTerritory:

Latest electric cars that were revealed this year:

Upcoming hybrid-electric vehicles of 2021:

More info about all models shown in this #ATelectriccars release:

Sono Sion: sonomotors.com/en/sion

The world’s first affordable electric solar car, Sion from Sono Motors, became more expensive, the startup had to survive through a risky crowdfunding campaign, but now it is back on track with production.

Lightyear One: lightyear.one/news/first-lightyear-research-vehicles-on-the-road/

The Dutch start-up Lightyear started developing its solar-charging car a couple of years ago, and now, the brand has finally revealed the final design of the model. The One has a sleek, futuristic look and comes covered in 54 square feet of new generation solar cells.

Fisker Ocean: fiskerinc.com/about

2022 Fisker Ocean is the most recent project of the notorious designer Henrik Fisker, that is claimed to become the most affordable long-range model in the crossover segment. The car gets the latest infotainment tech, an all-vegan interior and an optional full-length solar roof that was designed to boost its efficiency and range.

Fiat Centoventi: fiat.com/fiat-concept-centoventi

Do you remember the modular Centoventi concept from the 2019 Geneva Autoshow? This small and boxy hatchback was advertised as Fiat’s most open-minded automobile, and it was a sort-of plug and play-vehicle allowing customers to choose only those features that they want in their car. In spring 2020, the concept resurfaced again, as Fiat confirmed it for series production.

Tesla Cybertruck: tesla.com/cybertruck

As it was already mentioned, Elon is fully embracing solar, since it has become an integral part of Tesla after the solar city acquisition. The Cybertruck will be the major promoter of the technology, arriving with an optional tonneau cover made of solar cells.

Stella Era: solarteameindhoven.nl/stella-era/

If we were to describe the Stella Era in a single sentence, then we would tell you that this family car is the Robin Hood of solar energy. The Dutch non-profit Solar Team Eindhoven developed a vehicle that accumulates so much clean energy that it can share it directly with other EVs.

Sunswift Violet: sunswift.com/vehicles/6/violet

Founded 1996, Sunswift is a solar racing team out of Australia that is known as a pioneer in solar cars development as well as an active participant of the World Solar Challenge. The company’s first EV protype was developed in the late 90s, and since then, the car went through 5 generation changes. The most recent version of the race model was revealed in 2017, under the name Violet.

VW ID Buzz Cargo: newsroom.vw.com/vehicles/volkswagen-i-d-buzz-cargo-the-electric-van-that-could-deliver-the-future

Based on the same platform as the original ID Buzz minivan, the Cargo modification is the workhorse within the upcoming VW ID family, that was designed for commercial use. The van gets several functional updates, out of which the most important one is the solar roof that can add 9.3 miles per day to the battery charge using the sunlight.

Solarolla VW Bus: solarrolla.com/vw-bus/

This German-born bus is a frequent visitor of conversion shops due to its ample space behind the front seats and, of course, its timeless design. We’ve seen dozens of the model’s camper conversions before, but a fully solar-powered VW Bus is a rarity. Built from scratch by the Sollarolla start-up, the camper features roof-mounted solar panels that can tilt for a maximum solar exposure.

Toyota Prius Prime: toyota.com/priusprime

Toyota is partnering with Sharp and NEDO to develop a new generation of onboard solar battery panel with 34 percent efficiency. This system will be installed on the Toyota Prius Prime first.

42 comments

  1. Alguns modelos de Veículos Elétricos têm painéis solares: naqueles modelos que são um pouco mais detalhados, completos e mais caros a relação custo benefício faz com que compense ter painéis solares. Todavia, o mais importante é lembrar que é preciso se ter o conceito exato sobre tal complemento: eles dificilmente são, de fato, para MANTER A BATERIA CARREGADA, mas, apenas produzem um reforço de energia, comparativamente pequeno em relação ao que é consumido se o motor do carro estiver operando no modo tração, para ajudar a que as baterias se descarreguem um pouco mais devagar, ou seja, painéis fotovoltaicos em VEs são razoáveis extensores de autonomia, que podem ser ainda mais interessantes para quem se vê forçado a deixar o carro estacionado em área descobertas por longas horas do dia.

  2. like the ford lighting that's about to come out. and i wish i could afford. if they turned the bed cover into solar. i think it would give more range. plus if you get somewhere that you can't charge it like camping in the woods. it might charge it enough to get you to a charging station when you finish camping. i wish they would turn the ford maverick into 100% electric.

  3. Efficiency of solar should hopefully go up in future to make this more viable !! We atleast need .5 to 1 kw of charging which amounts total .40+ of Efficiency

  4. Funny how the nomad community was the first to start using solar on the cars , now every one is discovering something that they did way way back hahah … 😆

  5. Hyundai sonata hybrid comes with a factory solar if you pay 1000 extra, it gets 2 to 3 miles a day of range of the small solar area.

  6. I like that Toyota prime plus with solar roof..its not too much of solar panels..and also looking good. That will be an optimal for me. Remaining we need to put effort to increase charing network

  7. If car industri build a solar cars whit price like 20.000 dollar. I think people can maybe change that old gasoline car. If that car is cheaper to own.

  8. Why do they always hide the rear wheels on electric cars. Started with the Honda Insight many years ago. Just butt ugly. Stop this crap.

  9. Heck yes, only $165,000 order me a half dozen. Let’s get “real” about electric cars or forget ‘em!

  10. La nueva era del futuro en realidad mis amigos la nueva era del futuro son ustedes porque el futuro no se nota en el mundo y ustedes son el mejor futuro buen vídeo mis amigos

  11. What ever happened to the technology BMW was going to use of either the trunk or hood/bonnet was painted or made out of something that absorbed sunlight like PV panel does?

  12. Next thing you know there is going to be a road legal vehicle that can legally go vertical if it detects that you're going to be in a traffic jam.

  13. A solar panel on the vehicle roof makes more sense to run heating or cooling for the interior while it is parked. A bigger house or carport roof solar panel would be more for charging the battery. The vehicle roof solar panel is more of a last resort charger for the battery, if you are low and the closest charger is busy, does not take your credit card, or is unusually expensive.

  14. Fisker, centoventi, and ID bus are good options this is a step in right direction maybe we will get better results with more time and RnD.

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