Integrated solar panels on electric car – Izi by EDF, electric cars: the dream of solar recharge – Auto guide

Electric cars: the dream of solar recharge

“Even if a car roof cannot fully load the battery in a day, it can garner enough energy to bring you from your work to your home,” said this energy specialist at Wisconsin University.

Integrated solar panels on electric car: we are where ?

Today, the electric car presents itself as a major solution to limit global warming. Indeed, while riding, it does not produce CO2. Most often, its recharge is made on a terminal connected to the public network. However, producing this energy has an impact on the environment. Not to mention the recent increase in KWH. To cope with these challenges, manufacturers incorporate solar panels on electric cars for solar energy recharging. Izi by EDF takes stock of solar cars.

The solar car: photovoltaic panels on an electric car

This year, 100% electric car sales have further increased with a goal: to reach the end of thermal cars in Europe within 15 years. Little by little, the brakes on the generalization of ecomobility are lifted thanks to technical progress. Thus, the electric car that recharges thanks to integrated solar panels arouses the greatest interest:

  • For drivers, the electric car seems to be more and more attractive: zero emission trips, driving comfort, profitability to use, autonomy and improved load capacity … being able to recharge your electric car independently with free, green and green energy renewable would be the ultimate argument.
  • For its part, the government multiplies the incentives for a rapid democratization of the electric car: ecological bonus, conversion bonus, retrofit, prohibited areas to polluting vehicles … If the number of terminals accessible for all progress, there is still a path Browse. The integration of photovoltaic panels on electric cars will then accelerate the ecological transition.
  • Manufacturers embark on a real race for innovation. For a long time, autonomy was the crucial point. Since then, the most efficient models can travel more than 800 km between two charging sessions. Then everything is done to optimize recharging with ultra fast solutions below an hour to find full batteries.

In 2022, the increase in the price of energy can become an obstacle to the development of the electric car. In addition, the energy production necessary to supply the recharging terminals contributes to global warming. Thus, the electric car integrating solar panels at all likes to win in the future.

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Is it possible to recharge a car with integrated solar panels ?

Why are there not yet solar panels on electric cars ?

On paper, the car that incorporates solar panels seems the ideal solution. This is the promise of truly clean and independent movements. But in reality, this technology is only in its infancy and must progress before generalizing.

The first conclusive tests on the photovoltaic panels integrated on a marketed car date from 2018. However, at the time the power produced by solar energy is not enough to activate the motorization of the car. Thus, solar panels integrated into the car are only used to operate certain edges by driving.

There are still technological challenges to take up for a 100 % autonomous solar car. To start, cover the body (roof and hood) with effective and resistant solar panels. It is also necessary to limit the weight of the car and improve its aerodynamics. Thus, the prototypes often display a futuristic look.

The other condition of the upcoming success of the solar car remains the conditions of sunshine. Logically, the latest conclusive tests in California or Spain do not obtain the same results in Northern Europe.

What solar panel surface to recharge an electric car ?

Little by little, the progress of the electric motorization and the photovoltaic panels are materialized. But integrated solar panels to recharge an electric car are still an innovative alternative. With an area of ​​5m2 of solar panels spread over the car, it can now recharge more than 10 km per day. Sufficient for small trips on the days when the weather is nice. But not yet enough to ensure all of our trips in any season.

What are the cars incorporating solar panels ?

Among the actors who make the bet of the solar car, there are many newcomers, ambitious start-ups, followed very closely by the historic car manufacturers.

Toyota and his hybrid car equipped with solar panels

You can cite Toyota which opened the ball in 2010 with a hybrid prius equipped with solar panels to supply certain accessories in the cabin. But it took 12 years to see the arrival on the market of the first electric cars incorporating solar panels dedicated to recharge.

Light Year 0: solar panels on the rooftop

We can cite the Dutch manufacturer Lightyear and its Lightyear 0 model which can recharge 70 km per day thanks to solar energy. All the same count more than 200,000 euros to acquire it.

Sono Sion: a solar vehicle at low prices

Specialists are also looking forward to the arrival of the Sono Motors Sion scheduled for 2023. This solar car allows you to recharge up to 110 km per week for a price announced around 25,000 euros !

In conclusion, the future of the electric car must go through the integration of solar panels. The first models arrive on our roads. For the moment, no 100 % solar car. Recharge via solar panels integrated into the car makes it possible to gain more autonomy in addition to the use of recharging terminals. Call on a professional expert to install the most effective solution to recharge your electric car.

Electric cars: the dream of solar recharge

Some start-ups, but also car giants, are starting to install solar panels on their new electric cars, promising a little additional autonomy, but not yet to drive.

Under the burning sun in northern Spain, the “0”, the first series model of the Lightyear start-up, garnishes enough solar energy to browse more than 70 kilometers gratis every day. Its front cover and long roof are covered with five square meters of solar panels.

  • Read also: the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid 2020 will have a solar roof
  • Read also: here is the first high autonomy solar car in the world

Its founders of young Dutch engineers have won several solar energy races in the Australian desert. Taking advantage of the drop in prices for photovoltaic panels and batteries, they try to apply this technology to everyday cars.

The very aerodynamic body of the “0” and its engines integrated into the wheels allow it to consume less energy than the electric SUVs which dominate the market and to display a range of 625 kilometers for a load. By rolling little, we could only connect it in winter, promises the brand.

“The hour is running: we have to drive durable as soon as possible,” said one of its founders, Lex Hoefsloot, at AFP. “The charging stations remain a major obstacle. If we don’t need it, we can change scale much faster. »»

Lightyear placed the bar very high with this first model built in less than 1,000 copies and displaying a price of Bentley, at 250,000 euros. An affordable version, around 30,000 euros, is announced for 2024-2025.

Daily journeys

While the electric cars market explodes, several models with solar panels are expected in the coming months. Toyota already offered panels on its Prius hybrid (optional) and on its very first 100% electric car, the BZ4X. Ditto for the Tesla pickup prototype, scheduled for 2023.

Mercedes has equipped with photovoltaic cells the roof its luxurious EQXX prototype which, with the same tapered profile as the Lightyear, promises 1,000 kilometers of autonomy.

According to the American researcher Gregory Nemet, “the photovoltaic panels have become so cheap that, even in low -sunny areas, it’s worth putting them”.

“Even if a car roof cannot fully load the battery in a day, it can garner enough energy to bring you from your work to your home,” said this energy specialist at Wisconsin University.

With a few hundreds of additional euros per car, solar energy could at least compensate for the use of air conditioning, analyzes Gautham Ram Chandra Mouli, specialist in electric mobility at Delft University (Netherlands).

Be careful, however, where you can park, warns the expert: the car is obviously only recharged if it is outside, and much less in winter. In addition, it recharges much better near the equator than in northern Europe.

Under the California sun, the start-up Apt will posted 25,000 pre-orders for its first model scheduled for the end of the year, a small three-wheel car and two places. Depending on the versions, billed between $ 26,000 and $ 46,000, it displays between 400 and 1,600 kilometers of autonomy.

Another much more classic solar model, but also affordable and ambitious, is expected in Germany at the end of 2022: the Sion. This compact with five places is cubic and all black, because it is entirely covered with solar panels.

“We have developed a technology that can cover the whole car,” said Jona Christians, co-director of the big German start-up that imagined it, Sono Motors. With 18,000 pre -orders recorded, they plan to produce 260,000 cars by 2030.

The Zion incorporates the “Vehicle-to-Grid” system, which allows its battery responsible for returning electricity to the network when the sun no longer shines.

The small manufacturer also plans to sell its solar technology to others, such as the French group of Chéreau refrigeration trailers.

Another Dutch brand, Squad Mobility, plans to launch solar cars without a license in 2023.

His boss Robert Hoevers, a former Lightyear, sees in the sun the future of cars: “The panels will become even cheaper, more efficient electric motors: sooner or later, we will drive every day to solar energy. »»