Why solar panels on cars make no sense (at this point)

28 January 2023
It’s either good or bad news for Tesla - on one hand those who are still on the fence now can get a cheaper Tesla - by a mile. On the other hand, the investors worry that demand is gone and the shares may slide even more.

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  • Ren

Jake, 18 Jul 2023I love my Solar Panel on my 2010 Prius......with the sunroof.......everyone is always jealous ... moreLol, Nice.

I thought I was the first to invent that idea of putting some Goal Zero solar panel to help save my the battery life of the actual car.

I plug a cellular phone into the car, which I sometimes leave on for a while. I utilize Bluetooth protocol, and bump factory speakers at volume level 50 out of ?. Sometimes a telephone call may come, or a job to shop the groceries. Talking on phone, utilizing bluetooth, apps constantly fetching notifications for this, that and the other. I do not Allow synchronization for things like contact list, call logs and other. I believe the additional information likely will slow down the Subaru infotainment system because of how low fidelity the touch interface is on my 2016. iPhone was 2007, Palm Touch PC...earlier. Vannevear Bush in 1920s had some of the Da'Vinchi style prototypes for the contemporary computer we all know and hate today.

The car. manufacturer highly compensates their engineers (I hope) who go to school or not go to school know what they are doing when it comes to balancing the necessary power required to cause engine combustion to happen successfully, many many times. I believe the definition of accessory or auxiliary allowance for electricity has some slack or electricity space for some applications, but the question is what are the limitations on such accessory owner/vehicle user choices?

If I want to live in my Honda Civic, cook bacon and eggs with my Mike Tyson stove and

  • Jake

I love my Solar Panel on my 2010 Prius......with the sunroof.......everyone is always jealous of the look and having a solar panel running environmental systems.....bought the car certified pre owned and didn’t pay the outrageous upgrade prices....

  • carbikearena

Actually, an inefficient solar panel is much useful than a useless sunroof.
also, is there anyway possible to use a small SandBatteries? just to run the electronics in the car?

joenodden, 02 Feb 2023Cars have a lot more surface area than just the roof. Sadly, something like this never got past prototype phase:

Cars have a lot more surface area than just the roof.

car in the picture is real? looks hyundai.
not many hybrids and phevs with solar roofs. as this is def not full EV car on the picture. looks elantra something.

Anonymous, 31 Jan 2023Except for camping or other kinds of recreation. Getting a little bit of charge instead of los... moreYeah, for 0,01% customers, I would come in handy.

  • Anonymous

Except for camping or other kinds of recreation. Getting a little bit of charge instead of losing a little bit of charge can be a game changer.

  • Andrew

Do you need an inverter ?
What do you do with the AC generated ?

Not to mention to maximize the feature, u need to park ur car under the sun as much as possible which means u'll be baked all the time whenever u enter the car lol

Dan, 28 Jan 2023For short we just need the tech to advance a lil bit more to address inefficiencies.A bit is a big understatement :) but there is a potential of 3D printed "spay" like panels that are tested. If they would to solve the longevity issue with this particular technology, it might be pretty much be the next solar boom.
But the same goes for batteries and even if they are improving quite a bit, it is not the leap a lot of people hoped for, not yet at least.

  • Dan

For short we just need the tech to advance a lil bit more to address inefficiencies.

  • Anonymous

The Sion of Sono Motors will drive about 10 to 15 km per day with its solar panels. In Germany!

  • Anonymous

At this point it doesnt really make any sense to complain about any product/car as they are all resulted from a simulation that ran on a controlled environment(in a computer). one has to understand its all custom built on demand.

companies say designers are useless, deploy AL, fire people. Designer is human, he owns AIs which corp rented. its all fabricated by AI, natural selection follows

  • Sion is crying rn

If you haven't heard about the Sion, it's basically been in development probably since before the queen was born /s. it's whole 'thing' is that it's covered in invisible solar panels basically everywhere on the car. I always liked the thing eventho i find solar panels on cars stupid. it's just kinda between a van and a hatchback size wise which i don't have a use for but i think fills a segment few car makers explore. Plus the interior with the moss is such a cool idea.. Now i haven't done as much reading as i should have but it seems like Sono Motors have big problems financing their car as more and more investors realise how it doesn't really make sense but still they keep prototyping despite not actually having the money for it :/

I wish they would just release the car without all of the complicated solar stuff and make some money but that will never happen because Sono Motors is basically at this point a solar company first and a car company second... I mean selling it now wouldn't mean they can't keep working on car solar to bring it out for the next model generation or even for a facelift in a couple years.

On a sidenote: why does every car maker have you choose between a gorgeos panoramic roof OR an ugly partially seethrough at best solar panel? why not put the solar on the car's hood?

  • Anonymous

I think that the more critical problem with solar panels is that not all places have adequate lighting from the sun. Also, let's not forget about monsoon season when you have floods coming in. That further put solar panels to a disadvantage.

Sounds interesting but since solar panel charging the battery is really very super slow i see no future in here right now.

I agree with the author here.

In today's times, home based solar panels don't waste a single ounce of electricity generated.
If your home is not using the full current that your solar panel makes, it sends extra current back to the grid for your neighbors to use, and you get some money credited to your bill, which is to say, you're getting money for producing electricity.

Solar panel on a car is simply a wasted effort, its much better to get the same panel on your roof.

I'd love a similar article on battery technologies that make actually materialise in the future...

I really love the idea of solar panels on a car, if I go with the new PHV Prius, it will be equipped with one, BUT I do not expect investment to ever return ... it is simply curiosity, possible tiny bit of boost in comfort, and you can't really see it as it is extremely well hidden this generation (it is much better integrated in terms of inventors, buffer etc. as well compared to 2016→2022 PHV).

I would build myself a solar roof if I had my own house or a private garage, but that is sadly not a possibility right now.
When I read the article, I must say I agree with all points, even if they are described fairly basic in a "THX captain obvious" manner ... but that's my opinion and for someone with unrealistic expectations, it might be just a right thing to read.