Electric cars are currently a growing market in the automotive industry, as many manufacturers are introducing variants of them to sell more to the customers to save the environment. Majority of them, if not almost all of them, require the buyer to plug them in every night to a socket to charge them up or use a charging station at various locations. Some might consider this a hassle, and stop someone from buying them. However, another common reason why people aren’t buying them right now is because of the range they offer. Though the gap is closing between the range of an electric vehicle versus their fueled counterpart, there is still a difference that the buyer must consider when purchasing an electric car.
However, in a recent report by Toyota, the company is testing solar roofs, which can be added on its electric cars to offer additional mileage. Toyota states that the roof can add a range of as much as 44.5 km or around 27 miles per day. While it doesn’t seem a lot, for many people this is less than the amount they drive in a day, thus significantly cutting costs of electric bill from charging the car. The benefit of this as a consumer would be that you are getting additional miles where you don’t have to pay for fuel or incur the electricity cost to charge it up.
The solar panel is being manufactured by Sharp, most notably known for their home appliances. Its thickness is 0.03mm, capable of delivering 860 watts of power. Though not the first time Toyota has worked on solar panels for its cars, this variant is much more efficient and produces five times as much power based on the numbers.
Right now, the company is planning on testing this later in the year, and no public release plans have been announced. However, the data collected from this testing will play a big part in IF and WHEN it will be available for people to buy. Though at a glance, it may not seem a significant amount, over time with growth and innovation of these roofs, companies can strive to hit as much as even 50 miles solely on these roofs.