Solar-powered electric vehicles.

Their is a new transition of technology has started to take place in Indian EV industry i.e. solar electric vehicles. This is technology or Idea can change the face of whole electric vehicle industry. It can effect many startups and can reduce the dependency of EVs on charging. 

In this post I will be sharing how all these things can possible and does solar panel can give enough power to drive a vehicle.

You may have heard of electric powered vehicles which are driven by a motor. In such vehicles one has to fully charge the vehicle every night before using it so that one can meet the basic requirement of driving an electric vehicle at most 80-100kms. Many advancements have been done in this domain to improve their performance and range per charge including, solar electric vehicles. 

Solar energy is the most abundant as well as a cheap source of energy, this energy is almost free and the amount of energy is also unlimited. There are already many users who have completely shifted their household electricity usage to solar energy and waive their high electricity bills.

Using solar panel in electric vehicles:

But, using solar power to drive an entire vehicle is a completely different thing, there are many factors that can affect the powertrain of an electric vehicle. Like, while driving a vehicle, the orientation of the solar panel varies with the vehicle, and the sun rays cannot incident on the panels properly.

But if somehow, you managed to install a decidedly large solar panel on an electric vehicle, then the energy produced from the panels is calculated here:
If the solar panel is 400W and spans 4sq-m of an area on electric vehicles, if the panels are exposed to sunlight for 5 hours, it will generate –

5hx400W=2kWh electric energy or (2 units) 

*These calculations are done if the solar panels are of 400 W and sunlight is been provided to the panels for 5 continues hour

Range of solar electric vehicles:

Now let’s calculate the range that you can achieve out of solar panel in your electric vehicle. 

First, understand that no vehicle can run fully dependent on the solar panel it is compulsory to carry a battery pack along with it. As, unlike using the energy coming from the solar panel directly to drive the motor, the energy coming from the solar panels are first stored into a battery then the motor uses the energy of that battery and run the whole vehicle.

Now considering the specifications of the electric vehicle as 1kW motor power, and 3kWh battery storage capacity. If normally you can drive your vehicle upto 3 hours or 80 km then after installing the solar panel you can drive the same vehicle upto 140-160kms or if not require to drive this much distance you can save the energy in your battery and can drive your vehicle for 2-3 days without charging.

In the end, I will quote fitting a solar panel can truly increase the range of 30-60kms of your electric vehicle then what it is usually.

Electric vehicles using solar energy:

Considering all the numbers stated above, one can easily state that, to increase the range of your vehicle you need the solar panel of at least 4 sq-meter and it is not possible to use this technology in two wheelers. So, it open the gateway of using this idea to electric three wheeler, and electric cars. But in electric cars, their are many limitations which make solar panel technology, if not complete failure then least ‘less favorable’. And it is not surprising to tell that one of the best EV manufacturer on this planet, “Tesla” has tested this technology in their very recent cyber truck.

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But still, this technology require more time and R&D to work successfully in the Indian electric car.

Solar electric rickshaws in India:

Now, when we come to electric three wheelers i.e. e-rickshaws which are most popular in Northern India, the idea of solar panel fits perfectly for them as, it carries the least load, frequently used for commercial proposes, and has enough amount of roof space. It seems e-rickshaws are already made for using solar energy. The daily wage workers who earn money by pulling this e-rickshaw are also impressed by this technology and readily accepting it.

solar electric rickshaw

Statistics says that the most sealing electric vehicle in India are e-rickshaws, right now their are more than 15lakh e-rickshaw running actively on road and it’s a 1.5 billon dollar market in India. There are many good startups in India emerging to improve this solar electric rickshaw.

Including electric rickshaws, this technology is used also used in many huge organizations like B.S.F. and NOIDA metro, which tells this technology can bring a remarkable change in EV industry if executed properly. 


If you are still with us

Thank you very much it means a lot.

You have just gone through complete information regarding the solar electric vehicles in India, and long story short “solar panels on your EV can increase it by 50-60kms in summer and 30-40kms in winter”

Stay tuned we will be continuously posting more posts regarding it. 

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