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Your Car Could Be Powered by the Sun

You could be using the power of the sun to fuel your car!
Lindsey Patterson Oct 7, 2019
Operating a car can be expensive, especially if you are dependent on the ever-changing prices at the pump. Many people are switching to electric vehicles to help them reduce their emissions and avoid costly gas prices. However, most current EVs run on power from the electricity grid.
While this is much greener than an internal combustion engine, there are still emissions from producing the electricity.
What if you could drive a car powered by the sun? This may sound like science fiction but there are options available today to let you do it. Even more futuristic options may be closer than you expect.
So, while the idea of a car that charges itself with the power of the sun may seem a little far-fetched. It will only take a single innovation to make it a reality. That innovation may be right around the corner. Dutch company Lightyear is planning to release a fully-solar concept car soon.

Solar Powered Charging

Of course, you don’t need to have solar panels on your car roof to use the power of the sun. In fact, right now, you can buy a home solar EV charger to charge your electric vehicle’s batteries using solar energy. In short, it uses solar panels to power your electric vehicle’s charging port.
Incredibly, this is not only greener than using your existing home power, but it is also faster and smarter. Dedicated charging units use 240v charging rather than your home’s standard 110v. So, it can actually charge your car more quickly than a regular outlet.
Of course, you can get this same fast charging with other EV chargers but why would you? You could be using the power of the sun to fuel your car! That is better than any other charging option.

A Solar-Powered Home

You don’t need to even have a solar-powered charger to use solar energy for your car. You can also use solar panels to power your home and your charging outlet. This doesn’t have as many benefits as a dedicated solar charger. However, it is still a great way to deliver electricity to your electric vehicle from an environmentally-friendly source.
The main advantage of this setup is that you can also power the rest of your home. Unlike having solar panels on your car, this arrangement will give you electricity for the rest of your life. Better yet, you can sell the excess solar energy to your utility company.
That’s a pretty great deal. Solar panels are less expensive than you may think, especially if you get a government subsidy or tax break.

What’s the Best Option?

The idea of a car with its own solar panels is cool but it has some drawbacks. Notably, this setup often requires some sacrifices in terms of the utility of the rest of the car. Getting enough energy from the sun to power a car means it needs to be aerodynamic and light. Chances are this technology will need a little longer to be workable.
Having a solar-powered home is great but you miss out on the value of fast charging. The best option is a solar-powered dedicated charger. If you want to also have solar panels for your home, then great!
However, your EV driving experience will be much better if you have a proper, dedicated charger to handle your vehicle electricity needs. That 240v current is really worth getting a specialized setup.