Solar cells cover: New charging solution - need opinion from the community

Solar cells cover: New charging solution - need opinion from the community

Dear Tesla Community,

My friends and I need your competent opinion:

We are all very glad that the number of electric and plug-in-hybrid cars on the roads is growing rapidly. And finally a great company takes a leading role on the market - Tesla (Go Tesla! Go!)

But we are absolutely not amused about how slowly the public charging infrastructure is growing. In some countries (e.g. Germany) we only hear a lot about this topic, but see absolutely no desire for action. Unfortunately we don’t see any signs of that this situation can change soon.

BUT: We don’t want accept this deadlock situation and decided to try to do something. We have an idea for how to solve the dependence of electric/plug-in-hybrid cars on the public charging infrastructure:

Flexible car cover made of thin-film solar cells, which generates electricity during the day and charge car batteries.

We are very enthusiastic and have a lot of ideas, but the most important is not what we think about it, but what EV owners really need and how they evaluate this idea.

We are doing a customer survey to identify preferences and needs of the potential users. The survey is very short. I would be grateful if you could invest 3 minutes to execute it.

Here is the link to the survey:

Thank you all for participation and support! Together we will make the e-car revolution!

@Administratior of the forum: if such requests for feedback are not allowed - I am really sorry. Just delete this thread.


GeekEV | June 6, 2013

When you say car cover, are you talking a about a fabric, form fit type car "cover" like this:

Or a "carport" for parking under?

If the former, you won't get enough juice off of it to make it worth the cost/hassle. Maybe 5-10 miles a day, max. Solar density just isn't there yet. If the later, I think you're talking about this:

Brian H | June 6, 2013

Car-sized solar is useless, a distraction.

Timo | June 6, 2013

@Brian H, not quite if you actually use entire car for charging while parked in Sun. You might get 5 or so miles worth of charge during a day.

Brian H | June 7, 2013

Lousy return on "investment", and rarely useful.

PorfirioR | June 7, 2013

+1 Brian H

You get more bang for the buck out of a @20 extension cord.

Galanzin | June 7, 2013

@GeekEV, Brian H, Timo, PorfirioR: Thank you for your fast response!

@GeekEV: Yes, the idea is to have something like this:

but maybe without covering the side mirrors :)

@Brian H, Timo: I agree with you that at the first view it looks unpromising, but haven't most people said that electric car with the range of >200 miles is not possible, it must be too expensive, not interesting for consumers etc. And what do we have now? We have Tesla Model S. Elon Musk just had a vision and decided to try it despite all concerns.

We have a vision too! We want to try something! Maybe we'll find out that our fist idea is useless, but we will learn something from it and maybe our second idea will be better.

But we want to analyze our first idea too. The photovoltaic cells technology is moving forward and production costs decrease, so we want to check the current situation and to make an outlook in technology trend. Maybe the technology we need will be available in a year. It is OK too, because we will need time to develop the product and prepare market entrance.

Anyway, we don't want to wait, until the great green future will finally come or governments and oil companies' bosses will allow it. We want to decide ourselves!

I am sure the more people will try something, the more interesting and viable ideas and solutions we will have.

Thank you again for your response and BIG thanks for those who completed the questionnaire!

Brian H | June 7, 2013

PV tech is irrelevant. There's not enough energy falling on a car to be worth capturing. Especially in a garage.

Timo | June 7, 2013

But not necessarily at summer cabin. I personally like to get away from modern gizmos during summer for couple of weeks, which means place with no grid electricity. For that I try to pick up clear skies and warm weather, and as you know here close to arctic circle Sun shines nearly day around during summer (depending which side of the actual circle you are, it might literally never set during Summer).

Vawlkus | June 10, 2013

Until it can surpass a standard 120v 12 amp plug, it's pretty much useless except in VERY rare circumstances.