I dont see how you can be a fan of EVs and not think this is a great idea. I know the typical criticism is that they are not very efficient, and generally only add weight and maybe a few miles in range.
As you may have seen from my earlier question a little while ago, I am beginning an EV transformation with a 1986 Toyota Pickup (although for some reason at the time I thought it was a ’94… it isnt), and I am using a neighbor as my guide.
He took an older Ford Ranger frame from a junkyard (for free, I might add). It had the frame (very little rust, gotta love the sonoran desert), manual tranny, and axles. He had to get damn near everything for it. Anyway, the donor car was in a rollover and he had to rebuild the roof, so he figured he might as well put some solar panels on it. After the car was finished, with about $ 30,000 invested and somewhere near 120 mile range, he decided that he really liked the look (he is an electrical engineer, he built the car mostly as an “ad” for his company) of the solar panel roof, so he decided to go all-out and put another panel on the hood and a solar bed-cover. It added another 10 miles in range for an additional $ 3000, which was mostly spent in custom fabrication so the car would look nice.
Due to this, he is actually going to take another frame he has from an older F150, and remove the bed entirely, and put a massive panel on the back, and put lots of batteries underneath.
His brother was in large part his fabrication expert, since he owns a car body shop and did quite a bit of the legwork for the Ranger. He plans to make a very durable solar panel which will actually house the batteries as well, and simply use it as the back.
All in all, generating more range seems to be the pressing issue with EVs. My gas-sucker can go hundreds of miles without needing to be filled, so the more EV range increases, the more popular EVs will get. So why not put a solar panel on?
- Solar Energy: DIY Solar Panels? From Scratch? (6/2/2012)
- I’m sick of all the BS on gas prices and cars not going solar/gas free……?
- Solar Panel: What Solar Panel Is Needed To Charge Four 12 Volt Batteries? (2/25/2012)
- Solar Panel: What Type Of Batteries Do I Get For A Solar Panel? (1/16/2012)
- Solar Power: Looking For Mobile Solar Power Solution? (7/9/2012)