Solar Powered Auto -- 388 mi battery

The Sun alone will add up to 40 miles of range per day if you park it outside in sunny California.

This Sleek New Solar-Powered EV Sedan Can Go Months Without Charging
https://robbreport.com/motors/cars/lightyear-0-solar-powered…

Unlike so many premium EVs, Lightyear’s engineers seemed to have placed an emphasis on efficiency over performance. The 0’s powertrain consists of a four-motor setup connected to a 60-kWh battery pack that produces a combined 174 hp and 1,269 ft lbs of torque, according to CNET Roadshow. Thanks to that, it accelerates from zero to 62 mph in decidedly pedestrian 10 seconds and has a top speed of just under 100 mph.

intercst

I’m happy to see efficient, lower-performance cars. If the car was safe and reliable I would buy that in preference to a higher-performance car since I never need the higher performance. That’s the reason I bought a Subaru despite the sneers about stodgy performance by the professional drivers in the car magazines. (When I was researching my first new car purchase in 20 years.)

Wendy

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Wendy writes,

I’m happy to see efficient, lower-performance cars. If the car was safe and reliable I would buy that in preference to a higher-performance car since I never need the higher performance.

I’m assuming you missed the $263,000 MSRP.

intercst

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<I’m assuming you missed the $263,000 MSRP. >

GASP!! Too right!
Wendy

The Sun alone will add up to 40 miles of range per day if you park it outside in sunny California.

The article says up to 44 miles per day. I doubt this is realistic.

Some quick math:
388 miles of range with a 60 kwh battery means they expect, tap, tap, tap…6.46 miles per kwh.
That is pretty good (my Tesla M3 is rated at about 4, but I general get about 4.9 in mixed freeway/local roads). So, to get to 40 miles you would need to charge about 6.2 kwh.

But in CA the number of equivalent fixed angle solar hours per day over the year is about 5.38.
Summer peak is 6.2, winter is 3.4…and these numbers assume no clouds, smoke, clean panels, etc.
(source: https://www.turbinegenerator.org/solar/california/

So I’ll pick the summer peak number, since by coincidence it makes the math easy. We need 6.2 kwh and we have 6.2 hours (equivalent pointing right at the sun) if we park unobstructed in the sun all day.
That means we need enough solar panels to provide 1000 watts. That is a lot of surface area that has to be pointed up (so it is never shaded). A typical rooftop solar panel is 40" x 66" and provides 300 watts. Doesn’t seem reasonable that you’d fit 3+ of these on a car.

Of course this car is very expensive, so may they are using satellite grade panels which have a higher efficiency.

Mike

I don’t know if this is the same car I looked at some stuff about in the past, but it sounds like much the same sort of thing. That car had custom solar, almost painted on, so one assumes it was highest possible output. They had also done extraordinary things to lighten the car and streamline it to reduce wind resistance.

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Of course this car is very expensive, so may they are using satellite grade panels which have a higher efficiency.

That’s likely true. And you’d have to keep the panels antiseptically clean to maintain efficiency.

intercst

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So I’ll pick the summer peak number, since by coincidence it makes the math easy. We need 6.2 kwh and we have 6.2 hours (equivalent pointing right at the sun) if we park unobstructed in the sun all day.
That means we need enough solar panels to provide 1000 watts. That is a lot of surface area that has to be pointed up (so it is never shaded). A typical rooftop solar panel is 40" x 66" and provides 300 watts. Doesn’t seem reasonable that you’d fit 3+ of these on a car.

The article says they have 16.4 sq ft of panels on the car. I don’t think there is any technology to get 1000 watts out of 16.4 sq ft, not even using satellite style panels. Not even close!

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The article says they have 16.4 sq ft of panels on the car. I don’t think there is any technology to get 1000 watts out of 16.4 sq ft, not even using satellite style panels. Not even close!

The sun delivers about 1000 water per sq meter, which is about 10 sq ft.
So with 16 sq ft they’d be starting with 1600 watts of sunlight hitting the car.

Typical solar panels are about 15-17% efficient, with some expensive ones (eg Sun Power) up around 20-22%. So the Sun Power panels could provide (peak) about 350 watts. 1/3rd of what they say.

Something is a bit fishy with their numbers.
It would make MUCH more sense to put much cheaper solar panels on a rooftop and charge a smallish battery (like a Tesla powerwall) that you could use for any purpose including going much further than 40 miles. The price would be cheaper, it is more versatile and not subject to being scrapped before the 25-30 years that solar panels are expected to last. And not likely to be totalled by getting into an accident. The only real upside to solar panels ON the car is that if you get stranded with a nearly dead battery you can charge back up and creep to a charger. But realistically on a typical day in most places you might only get 5-10 miles.

Mike