Is the solar car really coming this time?

The battery life of electric vehicles has always been an anxiety point for users. The normal operation is generally charging, of course, there are also solutions for battery replacement. But people will never stop exploring, why don't we use solar energy to charge electric cars?


Humble Motors, a US start-up company, has made such an attempt. Recently, it launched a solar-powered pure electric SUV model-Humble One. The Humble One car is equipped with a 7.6 square meter solar panel, which can replenish up to 96km of cruising range per day under ideal conditions. In order to carry more solar panels, Humble One makes full use of the roof, windows, and side doors. In addition, it also designs foldable solar wing panels. 

humble one

It is expected to be delivered in 2025. In fact, car companies have never stopped exploring solar energy as a way to supplement energy for cars. In 2012, Toyota used Kyocera’s solar panels on the roof of the Prius. However, due to technical problems at the time, the area of the solar panels was too small and the photoelectric conversion efficiency was very low. The battery panel can only supply power for the on-board ventilation system, and cannot provide power and electricity for the car at all.


The 2020 Hyundai Sonata has also tried solar panels. Solar panels are placed on the roof, and the Hyundai Sonata can be used as power. However, the solar charging system of the 2020 Hyundai Sonata is still very poor.The average endurance that can be increased per day is only about 3.5km, which is of little use value.


It is really not an easy task to use solar energy to replenish energy for cars. There are two problems to be solved: 1. Improve the efficiency of photoelectric conversion; 2. Increase the area of solar panels. Of course, it is best to do both. In 2019, Toyota covered the entire body of a Prius with Sharp solar panels. Under ideal conditions, the photoelectric conversion efficiency of this Prius has increased to 34%. In the best state, it has increased by about 56km a day. recharge mileage.


This Prius also increased its weight by 80 kg due to its full load of solar panels. For various reasons, Toyota has not mass-produced this technology so far. Tesla is also very interested in this technology. Since Tesla acquired SolarCity, a photovoltaic company, the photovoltaic business is also Tesla's strong point. In fact, as early as 2017, Tesla tried to install solar panels on the Model 3, but it still failed to find a good solution and finally gave up.


The performance of solar panels is not strong enough, so why not increase the cruising range by reducing energy consumption? The design idea of Humble One is to reduce energy consumption. Therefore, we must reduce the weight of the body. The 5-meter-long Humble One is only 1.8 tons, which is 348 kg lighter than the Tesla Model S Plaid.

Post time: May-06-2021