Tesla unveiled a new solar-powered range extender trailer with a SpaceX Starlink internet satellite system at an exhibition in Germany, but don’t expect to be able to buy it anytime soon.
As electric vehicles become more efficient, many are beginning to think about the potential of adding solar panels to electric vehicles to extend range. Companies like Aptera and Lightyear have had some success with projects involving super-efficient vehicles using integrated solar cells.
But when it comes to full-size electric vehicles, it hasn’t been as popular because solar power doesn’t add much range due to its low efficiency.
However, many EV owners have thought about adding deployable solar panels as stand-alone portable charging solutions that could extend the range of their EVs – sometimes in the form of a trailer. At IdeenExpo in Hannover, Germany this week, Tesla surprised attendees by unveiling a system that equips a trailer with deployable solar panels:
Tesla also brought a cutout of the Model Y, showing its new structural battery with 4680 battery cells, for its booth at the expo, but the new solar range extender is the newest product.
The solar range extender trailer is also equipped with a SpaceX Starlink satellite internet receiver. Starlink recently updated its system to allow the use of its terminal to obtain Internet in moving vehicles.
It’s unclear why Tesla built the trailer and unveiled it at the show, but the automaker isn’t expected to sell it to the public anytime soon.
It seems to be more of an attraction for the show – something Tesla rarely participates in other than as a recruiting effort.
Would you be interested in Tesla selling this solar range extender trailer to consumers? If so, let us know what kind of application you think it would be useful for. Let us know in the comments section.
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