BOSTON, April 7, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — It is easy to make 1000-mile battery-electric vehicles, and the effect on market uptake will be profound. For example, a typical city-dweller today might charge only once every two months and vacation where chargers are rare.
With solar bodywork having done some of the job, even feeble existing chargers will cause little delay. Indeed, solar bodywork is a get-you-home feature capable of suddenly making battery-electric vehicles acceptable in most of the world, increasing market potential and accelerating economies of scale in production, making them more affordable. Meanwhile, today’s EV would be easier to sell to country dwellers if they had a folding solar panel “lifeboat” offered as an optional extra. See the IDTechEx report, “Solar Vehicles 2021-2041 2nd Edition“.
Learn from the sea. Many solar boats can already be bought with effectively infinite range because they have so much area available for solar. Some have the generating capacity to supply three houses on arrival. For heavier sea-going ships, adding wind turbines works because at sea, the wind is rarely head-on at a speed less than the craft. The large Manta ocean clean-up boat from Sea Cleaners is the latest example. Even energy-independent ships are possible by combining these technologies with others.
Land vehicles lag in energy-independent technologies because they have less surface area per passenger, but the newly-viable single-crystal silicon on the sides (as demonstrated by Sono Motors at CES 2021) is a step in the right direction. Student solar racers get energy independence using 3 – 5 compound solar that is unaffordable for most applications as yet. They also get ultra-low drag factors by squeezing the riders. Nonetheless, these things benchmark what is coming to a car, robot shuttle, and truck near you.