Elon Musk confirmed that Tesla’s new Cybertruck electric pickup truck will be offered with a solar roof option over the truck’s bed that will be able to add 15 miles of range per day.
We’ve discussed solar roofs on electric vehicles before, most recently with the one on the new Prius Prime, but the recurring problem is that they rarely generate enough power to be worth it.
For example, we estimated that the solar cells on the Prius Prime’s roof could generate enough power to add about ~2 miles of range during the day. And of course, that’s highly dependent on where you are in the world and where you park your car.
However, solar power technology has been improving greatly and it is increasingly starting to make more sense.
Musk has been looking into the idea. In 2017, he said that he pushed his Tesla engineers to look into integrating solar cells on Model 3, but he didn’t think it was worth it.
Now for the new Tesla Cybertruck, the CEO said on Twitter today that it will actually be an option:
“Will be an option to add solar power that generates 15 miles per day, possibly more. Would love this to be self-powered. Adding fold out solar wings would generate 30 to 40 miles per day. Average miles per day in US is 30.”
Musk is talking about adding solar cells to the retractable roof over the bed of the Tesla Cybertruck:
— Matt Londre (@MattLondre) November 22, 2019
The CEO is also suggesting that deployable solar wings could also be added for even more solar power.
Musk had previously discussed the idea of a “deployable solar shield like a retractable hard top” for electric vehicles.
The feature could particularly be useful with the Cybertruck camper configuration that Tesla is planning to offer as an option.
The best way to power your electric car with solar is almost always having a solar array at your home.
However, it is starting to make sense if you have a larger surface on which you can install the solar cells, like on the top of the Cybertruck’s bed.
There’s something really appealing about the idea of your vehicle producing its own power and even if only 15 miles per day, it’s a cool idea that for those 15 miles, your truck is powered by the sun rays that hit its roof for a few hours.
I think if the option is not too expensive, like between $2,500 and $4,000, a lot of people are going to go for it.
As for the deployable system, it all depends on its implementation and how convenient it is to deploy and store.
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