Solar Panels On A Model 3’s Roof Might Be Good In An Emergency, But That’s About It
Putting solar panels on the roof of an electric car may seem sensible, but in reality it may not be as efficient as you think.
As it turns out, solar panels don’t generate electricity as quickly and easily as we’d hoped. YouTube’s Tech of Tech put solar panels on the roof of his Tesla Model 3 to see exactly how much extra range it could get from the sun.
The system is a little nervous and the host is the first to admit it. But it does give a rough idea of how much power the roof of a Model 3 could hold if it were covered with solar panels, which Toyota tested on the Prius Prime.
The host claims that panels are some of the best out there, and while they do need some clunky gadgets to get the system working, it could be made a lot smaller if everything were built into the car.
After about an hour and a half of charging time, it receives an additional 7 miles. At the height of the sun, Tech of Tech’s setup can charge at the same speed as a standard electrical outlet. Others with different settings have found that it would take up to 10 days to fully charge a Tesla.
Also Read: YouTuber Finds That Charging His Model 3 Solar Panel Trailer Would Take 10 Days
That might not sound like that impressive, but as electricity that is only passively generated, it’s pretty cool. And seven miles could easily mean the difference between calling a tow truck and reaching the nearest plug.
However, the host points out that its setup will cost more than several tows, so you probably won’t be running out to buy it anytime soon. In addition, you are constantly forced to struggle with shadows from trees, buildings and clouds. In something that uses as much electricity as a modern passenger car, the electricity can best be used to power auxiliary vehicles.
However, the host points out that something like the Aptera 3, a three-wheeled electric vehicle that looks a bit like a solar racer, could generate up to 40 miles per day. That could easily cover most of your daily commute, which makes solar panels look more interesting.