Last week, after a spate of introductions of concept electric cars with solar cells, we asked our readers if such a system would add value for them.
Despite a lot of reservations and skepticism, a clear majority of readers said it would.
Our poll was inspired by a new concept Prius PHV (Prius Prime in the U.S.) that Toyota says can get up to 27.6 extra electric miles per day just sitting in the sun. Other recent solar-electric concepts include the Dutch Lightyear One, from a startup company that says it can gain up to 7.5 miles per hour from solar panels. Germany startup company Sono Motors has been working on a small hatchback for two years that it says can get up to 21 miles per day on solar power. All three electric cars can also of course plug in for longer ranges or when the sun isn't shining.
Sono Sion solar assisted electric car
Our specific question last week was, "Would solar cells add value to your EV?" The only choices were, Yes, which garnered 62 percent of the votes; no, which received only 14 percent; and "On my roof instead." A somewhat surprisingly low 24 percent of respondents wanted solar on their home roofs instead.
Would solar cells add value to your EV?— Green Car Reports (@GreenCarReports) July 16, 2019
Several readers expressed skepticism that the cells might not be reliable and would be susceptible to damage that could be expensive to repair. Quite a few commenters noted that home rooftops have more real-estate for solar panels to develop more power, and that they're less susceptible to damage.
More, however, focused on the time their cars spend parked in the sun that they could be charging, and several noted that they would almost never have to charge if they had a car that could get 10 miles per day from the sun. Only a handful suggested that putting solar panels on cars instead of home rooftops might make it possible for drivers who live in apartments or condominiums to use electric cars who might not be able to otherwise.