Using photovoltaics?

I'm wondering why the roof and trunk of Tesla cars aren't covered with photovoltaic cells. It seems to me that, from an energy conservation/efficiency point of view, PV would make a lot of sense. I don't think it's possible that the idea simply wasn't considered. Was it a physical integration or other design problem? A cost/benefit issue? (Please don't tell me it was purely cosmetic.) It's just something I've been wondering about for a while.

I really love what you guys are doing. Keep up the great work!


  • edited November -1
    For many reasons, normal solar panels that you get the most effect from are heavy and not a great idea to drive around with.
    You would probably lose range as a net effect.

    And even if you would use thin film solar that are not heavy it is way to expensive to be worth it. And a minor scratch would be very expensive.

    It is just not a good idea. Put them on your roof or even driveway perhaps though, where they do not need to be pushed around and bugs and pebbles won't come flying at them at 80 mph.
  • edited November -1
    The main problem is that there isn't enough surface area to be of any real benefit, even IF photovoltaics were 100% efficient AND the car was parked under direct sunshine for 24 hrs straight.

    There is just not enough solar energy that falls on that small of an area to provide any real energy benefit. As daoops suggests, you'll get way more benefit from a dedicated home PV installation than you will with a car mounted setup even if you live in the Northern parts of the US.

  • edited November -1
    We've had this conversation before as well.
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