Is PV Technology Soon to Come to Cars?

July 18, 2017

Twenty years ago, when we envisioned what 2017 might look like, we probably didn’t anticipate cars with integrated solar panel roofing as part of their stock build. That’s one reason why what’s happening in the automotive industry is nothing short of amazing: Panasonic has joined the push to have more solar panel-equipped roofs be part of car builds as soon as next year. This push comes as the company has developed an integrated solar panel capable of providing 180 watts of power all from a single car roof.

 

Combined with the electric drive technology that the automotive industry is already implementing, it’s probably not too big a surprise to see solar technology now becoming commonplace. Imagine an electric vehicle that – in optimally sunny conditions – could recharge it’s battery from the sun while using that exact same electricity to propel the vehicle. Granted, a 180-watt solar panel may not be enough to provide the complete energy budget for the car, but it’s a remarkable step towards complete vehicular autonomy. Even if the range estimates in the article are close to accurate, consumers stand to gain an additional 10% energy efficiency over non-solar equipped models.

 

Then, there’s the aesthetic. The look of a car with an integrated solar panel is going to be a hit with the style-conscious consumer. And, it’ll serve as a constant reminder to the driver that with every mile they drive, they’re consuming less and providing for a more sustainable, healthier planet. There is the concern of damage – what happens during a heavy hailstorm? What about theft or vandalism? Oddly enough, these are conversations that we at Urban Solar have with our customers about residential solar systems.

 

So, while we may not be in the business of helping you install solar panels onto your new sports car, we do happen to be very knowledgeable in the area of residential solar power generation systems. If you’ve been wondering about solar and how to take advantage of the sun to lower energy bills, contact us today. We offer a completely free energy assessment, and we’re standing by to take your call now.