Solar powered SUV

I just read this attached article about a BEV recharged with solar cells on the roof. It went from Tangier in the north of Morocco to the Shara in Southern Morocco and traveled about 621 miles during the trip. The Eindhoven University of Technology says the production version of this concept SUV might be for sale in 5 to 10 years. Even if it takes longer it’s quite an achievement. It probably won’t catch on in the US where there is significant charging infrastructure it could be used in the many desert areas of the world.


The cost plus the weight to power ratio just doesn’t make it really viable.

I think its a pretty neat idea. A little on the ugly side though. Even so, I could see buying a car like that, for around town errands. It would have to accelerate fast enough to keep up w/traffic , 0 to 60 in 12 seconds or less say. The price is going to be highly dependent on the sales volume. There’s probably only around $7,000 of materials purchased from vendors in that car, and the rest is the per car manufacturing cost and the one-time development cost to pay the designers & manufacturing engineers.

Note this photo, looks like they may have to stop periodically and fold out the full array to charge up:
Wonder what the hp is? And no a/c, I’m guessing.

But interesting advances.

Still a steo up from the stock Nissan Leaf that took it’s owner and the cameraman documenting the trip from South Africa to Morocco in 2 months. With rare exceptions had to find an outlet where they stopped and plug in.
(15) Against the CURRENT. Across Africa in an EV | Episode 1 | Drive to get to the end | SA, Namibia - YouTube

I think that’s awesome. You have to really admire these small teams of engineers pushing engineering feats without a heap load of funding from the government/manufacturers, who can contradict themselves by pushing more gas friendly cars but keep manufacturing huge SUVs.

The bulk of the work is done, which is to get a prototype going. Then to perfect it. If they can get an SUV to be fully powered by the sun, that technology can be used in different ways to make current ICE cars more gas efficient.

Who provided the grants for the work? Someone has to pay for the student stipends, the facility, and the parts used to build the vehicle. In this case there is transportation from Europe to Morocco and back too.

It mightve just been a joint volunteer project by engineering students who have time/ money, and knowledge of their own to venture into this.

For example many software engineering people will devote their free time to build a free software.

GM, Bridgestone, shell oil (just to name a few) have been sponsoring the Solar car challenge in Australia for years. There’s been a lot of corporate interest in this for a long long time.

Powered only by solar panels? No
It has batteries. And a 200 watt solar panel can provide enough juice to move? No
The panels can charge a battery in XX hours? Don’t say.
Panels extend range of battery? By 2%?

Solar powered bicycles pulling a solar panel trailer and solar canoes have worked. Those only need 100W to move the usual pedaling speed of 15 MPH or so. So 2 100W panels on a sunny day can keep you going.

A car needs over 5000 Watts.

They could at least have a panel that keeps an EV above 50% charge when parked in the long term parking at an airport. Currently some EVS will go dead when parked for months.

Nope, projects like this require BIG $$. In this case, over 50 corporate sponsors:
Partners — Solar Team Eindhoven

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I don’t think it needs as much funding as one thinks. They just need to get a prototype going with the bulk parts in place, which is the solar panels, batteries, and other electrical parts to get going. It shouldn’t be that costly if you already have the electrical and engineering knowledge.

You don’t realize the costs to do this. They are using cutting edge technology, not stuff you buy off of Amazon. And how much to conduct an expedition across the Sahara? Like I said, BIG $$.