Why Don’t They Put Solar Panels On Electric Cars?

Last Updated on July 11th, 2023

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They do not put solar panels on electric cars because they are generally impractical. In addition, solar panels cannot fully support a car as cars generally require a lot of energy to run properly.

However, many car manufacturers have begun to research how to make this possible. In addition, a need has arisen to move away from gas-powered cars due to the state of the planet.  

This means the push to develop more eco-friendly options has emerged. Keep reading to find out more about current issues with solar-powered cars and what progress is being made on their development. 

An electric car being charged in a garage - Why Don’t They Put Solar Panels On Electric Cars?

Does Such Car Exist?

Yes, cars with solar panels do exist. Several different car models have integrated solar panels and solar cells into the design of their cars. However, there are not very many of these cars currently, and all of them have limitations.

In fact, none of the cars currently available with this option run solely on solar power. These solar-powered cars do not rely on solar power at all and are only assisted by the use of solar. 

These cars, which are very limited in use or production, only add a couple of extra miles to a car’s driveability per day. The rest must come from either electricity or gas. 


Why Wouldn’t it Work?

Solar panels would not work on cars currently due to the limitations of solar panels. One of the main problems with solar panels is that they, of course, are reliant on the sun. While this may seem obvious, there are a lot of limitations that come with that.

If it is cloudy, if there is too much shade, or if the angle of the sun is slightly off, the car will not charge. Due to this, there are many limitations of solar power, making it unreliable and thus unsafe. 


Are Cars Too Small for it to Work?

Yes, cars are generally too small for solar panels to work. However, the size limitations of current designs mean solar panels must be quite large in order to conduct enough electricity for a car to run for an extended time.

A solar panel would have to be over 25 square feet for it to be practical in terms of charge time and distance traveled. But, of course, most cars do not have 25 feet of surface area or more to be able to accommodate this. 


How Does the Sion Work?

The Sion car converts solar energy using the solar cells embedded on all sides of it. The solar panels are made as part of the outside of the car itself, so they are built into the framework of the car.

The Sion is a car made by a German company with the goal of making the first fully solar-powered car and releasing it in 2023. However, this car already has some limitations. 

This car is only designed to drive a maximum of 70 miles per week when powered by just solar power. The rest of the mileage after that would come from electricity. 

When the average person drives over double that in a week, you can see where the limitations begin. So while this car is very innovative, it is still not a fully solar-powered car and is partly fueled by electricity. 


How Much Does it Cost?

Sion cars are currently priced at only $25,000. While this may seem like a lot, it is actually the cheapest option on the market in terms of electric vehicles currently. 

Most electric vehicles are currently priced at over $100,000 easily. The other cheap options for electric vehicles are still around double the cost of the Sion. This is because the company that made the Sion made it with affordability in mind.

They limited the options of the car to one color only, that color being the color of the material the car is made out of. That also means no paint or detailing on the car, which helps lower the cost as well. 


Final Thoughts on Why Don’t They Put Solar Panels On Electric Cars

Solar-powered cars and their development are far from perfect. They are currently inefficient in supporting most car users and their lifestyles. However, due to our planet’s current state, there is a need to find new options outside of gas-fueled cars. 

Many companies are researching the development of such vehicles. While these cars may be limited now, such technology has begun to emerge. As a result, there is hope for a new type of vehicle, which is slowly being made more affordable and sustainable. 

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