Hi guys, how about a rear solar panel spoiler to help out with the daily driving power equipment like a/c, lights, etc, and a roof panel to continuously charge the battery, either driving or just sitting parked under the sun??????
WAY more cost and complexity than a small addition to battery power. Tesla, IMO, is not going to cater to such financial and economic silliness.
Plus solar panels are not effective enough to add range. The Fisker, has a solar panel roof, and in the interview he said it would add around 200 miles a year. Who cares about that. If it were 2000 miles, I would be interested.
Let me throw in another thought about putting solar panels on your car. When are you hoping to recharge? While you are moving or while you are parked? If while parked, which is my guess, what are you going to do as more parking lots put up solar panels so your car happily sits in the shade (good for getting back to cool car and not so good for the solar electric production of the car)? I was struck by this thought when I visited a High School for Earth Day and saw the solar panels covering their entire parking lot.
I agree with everyone who has made the point that there is a lot of expense and complexity in trying to put solar on any car. I just thought I'd throw this in as I think it takes the value of solar on the car pretty close to zero for a lot of people.
I think people get wrong impression of solar power from those unsafe, bicycle-wheeled, extremely aerodynamic solar panel movers that they call solar cars. Those things are not cars, not in any practical sense. Their only similar feature is that they happen to have same amount of wheels, and they move at the road.
Solar power is weak, you can't get enough power from it in a real car to make any practical difference.
It's really not that solar power is weak, it's that our current tech is inefficient at harvesting it. 10% efficiency is considered standard these days. That said, all the other points about solar panels on cars are good ones.
Even with 100% efficiency with solar panel roof you still need to count Sun angle and weather conditions in. With perfect midday 1000W/m^2 and 40-35 degree angle you are not going to get much energy out of that. You also get some significant energy less than 8 hours each day. In north you would get nothing from Sun in winter.
It is weak. You couldn't move a real car 60mph even with covering it completely by 100% efficient solar panels.
Which has top speed of about 0.1mph and weights about 10-20% of ordinary passenger car.
(seriously, it moves that slow, that isn't exaggeration)
Timo is right about the inefficiency, uncertainty and variability of solar power. We're light years away from being able to run a 2 ton car from on-board solar power. However, it is a source of clean, free power that could be saved in the batteries. We just have to get much better at recovering it before it becomes viable. The thread on electric suspensions describes another fledgling passive energy recovery concept. These technologies, and probably others, will undoubtedly improve. Some day they may make sense, but not today.
How much longer before we get cold fusion? (rhetorical)
About 5 yrs. before we get very small very hot fusion. (5MW, 1bn K)
At this stage it's still wishful thinking. But if/when they get it working, to provide 5MW-h only requires about a quarter gram of fuel (assuming I didn't make an arithmetic mistake).
How many miles / gallon? About to Neptune and back. :)
Almost close to Cold fusion: CIHT Hydrogen Fuel Cell from Black Light Power
The estimate is that each MW-yr will use about a pound of boron. Not a concern.
Here are two more threads on the same topic. I just link them together b/c this question is bound to pop up again and again...