When deliveries begin in the second half of 2021, the Tesla CyberTruck should be the world's first mass-produced solar-powered pickup truck, with optional roof solar panels that can bask in the sun and provide a range of 15 miles per day.
Tesla is probably the best car company in the world to launch a solar car because it has an energy storage business that includes solar panels in addition to its car business. Back in 2017, Musk urged Tesla engineers to consider incorporating solar panels into the Model 3.
The CyberTruck, billed as a Mars model, will be tesla's first solar cell model, with a large roof design that is ideal for solar panels. It will also complete an important part of Musk's quest for new energy -- solar panels on roofs + storage batteries + electric cars + solar cars.
Tesla is not the first company to try to build a solar car. Traditional automakers like Toyota and Hyundai, as well as startups like Sono Motors and Lightyear, have launched similar products, but Tesla is likely to be the first to scale them up and commercialize them because of Its SolarCity.
01 Solar panels on the road
Cars can run in the sun without refueling or charging, which is an idea of using solar energy.
Back in 2010, the Toyota Prius, the world's best-selling hybrid model, had an optional solar panel, which was subsequently removed until it returned as part of the Toyota Prius Prime model in 2017.
In 2010, the solar panels on the Toyota prius powered only 12V lead-acid batteries, because directly feeding the battery pack of the hybrid system would interfere wirelessly with the car's audio and thus not help the vehicle much. The 2017 Prius Prime's solar panels power the hybrid battery pack.
The 2017 Toyota Prius Prime has an 8.8kwh battery pack that provides 22 miles of range on a single charge, while the solar panel can charge the pack for 2.2 miles a day in ideal conditions. The 2020 Sonata Hybrid, launched in 2019 in South Korea, is also equipped with a roof solar charging system, the first of its kind in hyundai's mass-production models, which can only charge 30 to 60 percent of a 1.76kWh battery pack within six hours. At present, the second and third generation roof solar charging system is being developed.
Start-up Sona Motors is preparing to produce the Sion EV, a rooftop solar system that can provide a range of 21 miles a day; Another startup, Lightyear, says its solar system on its first Model, The Lightyear One, can charge at a staggering 12 kilometers per hour. We'll see. Because the Sion EV is scheduled to begin mass production in the second half of 2020, Lightyear One is scheduled to begin delivery in early 2021.
As for tesla CyberTruck, which has more than 500,000 on order starting in the second half of 2021, it plans to offer an optional solar charging system at delivery that is expected to provide 15 miles of range per day. The solar system on the 2010 Toyota Prius costs $2,000 as an option. It is believed that the price of Tesla's optional solar cell system will be even lower, because Tesla has the strongest solar panel technology among global car companies.
02 Solar panels from roof to roof
In November 2016, Tesla acquired Sola City, another company owned by Musk and a leader in the RESIDENTIAL solar market in the United States. Musk wants to build an electricity ecosystem: electric cars -- home batteries, solar panels, smart appliances and mini/microgrid power management software.
Tesla and SolarCity, they have tremendous chemistry. In 2017, Mr. Musk began urging Tesla engineers to put solar panels on the Model 3, which, four years after its release, has become the world's biggest-selling pure electric vehicle.
The Model 3 did not become tesla's first vehicle to be equipped with solar panels. The CyberTruck, a newly released production Model, will be. Tesla's solar panels will extend from rooftops to production cars, and as they scale up, tesla's solar panel technology will evolve and its cost will inevitably fall, meaning more efficient charging and lower cost per unit of electricity.
In the future, all tesla's mass-produced models may include the solar cell system as a standard feature, because at this time, the cost of Tesla's solar system can be fully borne by users, and its solar panels may cover the roof and hood of the car.
We can imagine that in the future, a typical Tesla user in the United States will install the solar cell roof of Tesla SolarCity for his independent house, and be equipped with its home battery Powerwall. He will drive a pure electric car of Tesla, but a pure electric car with a standard solar cell system. In addition to charging your home's electricity ecosystem every day, you can supplement it with solar panels.
On a larger scale, Tesla's home power ecosystem is a microsystem that will complement the national grid. Tesla has already rolled out the system in the U.S. and is recruiting solar employees in China, where it hopes to do the same.
To know, China's solar photovoltaic panels are also developing rapidly, as far as Che Zhijun's side is concerned, there have been solar street lights, solar night lights, these street lights and night lights, when the sky is dark, began to illuminate the road, turn over human life. Take the night lamp as an example. A solar night lamp costs 100 yuan and can illuminate the place where sunlight can reach every night. Its life span is about 2 years, and the daily cost is less than 15 cents.
The scale of human use of solar energy will expand rapidly with the development of these solar roofs, solar street lamps & night lights, solar cars, and solar photovoltaic power plants on a much larger scale. Clean energy future, or licensing period.
"I'm sorry, but tesla is once again ahead of any car or energy company when it comes to solar power," Musk said.