It’s a common dream among automakers and renewable energy advocates: electric vehicles powered by the sun, no longer reliant on fossil fuels. It is a common goal that has been achieved in many prototypes, and is even available as an optional solar roof upgrade on the Prius Plus, billed as a means to top up the cars battery. But just how realistic is it that we will see fully solar powered cars in our lifetime?
While the tech behind solar materials is rapidly advancing, the amount of surface area necessary to provide any meaningful charge in a short amount of time is still unrealistic on a personal vehicle. It would take roughly 80 hours for one of Tesla’s semi-trucks to fully recharge their batteries, even with many times the surface area of a normal car. That doesn’t mean however that our cars can’t be fully solar powered, but for the near future our focus should likely remain on receiving that charge from a home-based system.
While charging stations are becoming more common in many cities, they still are nowhere near as ubiquitous as gas stations, meaning that most electric vehicle owners will need to charge their cars at home. It seems counterproductive to charge from the grid, especially considering the cost of so much electricity, which is why a home or business solar grid can be the perfect solution to power electric vehicles.
The first question on most people’s minds: how much will it cost to install, and how much will it cost to charge? There are quite a few variables to keep in mind, such as location and state solar incentives. However, most calculations show solar installation and batteries costing equal to or less than paying for electricity when calculated per day. To read a detailed breakdown of the potential costs, you can check out this article by Solar Power Rocks.
How SCF Can Help Your Business Power A Solar EV Fleet
Maybe you run a small business with a good amount of roof space that is interested in powering several electric company vehicles, or maybe your church or school would like to install a solar charging station in your parking lot. Sustainable Capital Finance provides commercial solar financing, and can help with applications like these and more, providing commercial solar PPA solutions to EPCs and Developers for projects as small as 100kW.