Electric Vehicles Will See Sunny Days in 2014

In recent years, electric vehicles (EVs) have made headway with consumers, yet the industry has largely failed to live up to the hype due to inadequate charging infrastructure, costly vehicles, range fears and concerns about truly being eco-friendly. It's that last point that automakers hope to change by exploring solar power technologies and forging relationships with solar energy providers in order to give consumers the confidence they seek when charging their vehicles at home (where most charging occurs).

Despite being heavily focused on developing hydrogen and CNG fuel systems, Quantum Fuel Systems (NASDAQ: QTWW  ) actually produced the rooftop solar panels on the now defunct automaker Fisker Karma. The real potential for solar may come from tapping a bigger power canvas throughout the body of a car, not just a rooftop, so innovative companies like Quantum and even DuPont could help revolutionize the way future EV's are charged. Additionally, Nissan, General Motors and Ford have all made their own solar investments in recent years so driving solar power may take a whole new meaning in the future. In fact, SolarCity (NASDAQ: SCTY  ) and BMW  (NASDAQOTH: BAMXF  ) recently forged an alliance to help consumers power their EVs with solar power. This only solidifies the expectations that tapping solar in the auto world is a hot area investors should focus on. 

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  • Report this Comment On December 05, 2013, at 3:23 PM, AreaMan wrote:

    Mounting solar panels on a vehicle is not a good idea. Those panels will rarely receive optimal solar insolation because of the various angles on the surface and because of the likelihood of long periods parked in a garage or in the shade.

    It would be much more cost effective to mount solar panels in a fixed location where they will receive the most sunlight and then use that power to charge the vehicle. Also, the amount of electricity you would get from the vehicle panels would be a tiny amount compared to that needed for operation.

  • Report this Comment On May 18, 2014, at 6:56 PM, Raypianoplayer wrote:

    Electric vehicles are a long, long way away...The cost is too high to build and to maintain...And now the country will have to generate more electricity...Even with built in panels, the total cost , for a car including maintainance, is impractical..

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