– Why do electric cars not have solar panels on rooftop so they could be charged while driving/parked

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– Why do electric cars not have solar panels on rooftop so they could be charged while driving/parked

In: Engineering

Because the amount of power it would generate would only be enough to move it a couple miles and it would add weight, complexity, and cost that just wouldn’t be worth it.

Some do but mostly it isn’t worth it, they are not light, and not an ideal roof covering anyway. I imagine as we get better materials it will happen more often. Some thin film thing.

There isn’t anywhere enough surface area on top of a car to put enough solar panels to charge a battery at any meaningful rate.

This was actually something that people demanded in the resurgence of electric vehicles. Toyota Prius even went so far as to actually install a practical solar panel which would help run the air condition and the battery topped up while parked. However a full size solar panel covering the entire roof would be quite heavy and expensive without actually making much of a difference when driving the car. It takes a lot of energy to power a car. The weight of the solar panels is probably going to slow the car down more then it speeds it up reducing its length between charges.

It’d only probably be worthwhile on semi trailers, and maybe not for really helping with drive power, but for auxiliary power for things like refrigeration.