Solar Panels Paired With Electric Vehicles Open up a World of Possibilities

Ford's (NYSE: F  ) new C-Max Energi concept car is the first major vehicle to combine solar and electric powers to drive vehicles, opening up a world of possibilities for the future. The concept car has 300 watts of SunPower's (NASDAQ: SPWR  ) high-efficiency solar panels placed on the roof, which will nearly charge the vehicle's 21-mile range in a day. But what does the future bring for the combination of solar and EVs? 

Fool contributor Travis Hoium explains below that a vehicle like Tesla's (NASDAQ: TSLA  ) Model S could get 2,000 extra miles of range per year from adding a similar small solar array. That's power that's free and clear once the vehicle is purchased, and it doesn't require any effort to use. Such an easy energy source is revolutionary in the auto industry and opens up billions of dollars in opportunities for SunPower as well. 

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  • Report this Comment On January 14, 2014, at 8:46 AM, Charlotte49er wrote:

    21 mile range??

  • Report this Comment On January 14, 2014, at 10:21 AM, dm333 wrote:

    Amazingly misguided article. The amount of power you'd get from rooftop panels is minuscule. Do some research.

  • Report this Comment On January 14, 2014, at 10:37 AM, txfilmguy wrote:

    In the future, this may be a more practical and advantageous power solution for electric cars. For the time being, it makes more sense to have a solar array on your house and have that supply or supplement the house's power, which in turn charges the car plugged into the charger the garage.

  • Report this Comment On January 14, 2014, at 2:04 PM, jeffhre wrote:

    dm333, the panels (and system) are a bit different, to say the least. If you haven't researched F's proposal you should check it out. If nothing else, it raises some interesting questions. And no it is not just a few panels sitting on a car roof - it's a bit more animated. And yes, though interesting it's not yet time to toss the panels on the house in the dumpster!!!

  • Report this Comment On January 14, 2014, at 10:51 PM, RickRickert4MVP wrote:

    I would need to install a glass garage roof.

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