A Tesla Model Y owner took matters into their own hands and created a solar roof for their electric SUV. This DIY project can increase the SUV’s range by more than 20 miles daily.
While Tesla and other car manufacturers have considered adding solar panels, it hasn’t become a standard feature. Some other brands offer solar options, but they typically only power extra features, not the main battery, or they provide only a tiny boost to the daily range.
This initiative uses 3D-printed components and a telescoping carbon fiber tube. The creator shared that the setup, consisting of nine 175-watt panels, can contribute 6 kilowatt hours to an electric vehicle’s battery daily, providing an additional range of approximately 20 miles.
Despite Elon Musk’s promises, Tesla has yet to deliver on the integration of solar charging features in its cars.
Musk initially aimed to include solar panels in the Model 3 back in 2017, but engineers determined it wasn’t a viable option.
Similarly, despite Musk’s aspirations for a solar roof in the highly anticipated Cybertruck, the final product, released late last year, did not offer this feature.
Following the Cybertruck launch, Elon Musk claimed it would have a solar roof option, adding 15 miles of daily range. Later, Tesla filed a patent indicating solar cells within a retractable tonneau cover.
However, upon its release, the Cybertruck did not include the promised solar roof— at least for now. In response, a Tesla owner took matters into their own hands and crafted a deployable solar roof for their Model Y.
Elon Musk did not fulfill his claim about his Cybertruck, which is why this person, who has installed solar cells on the rooftop of his Model Y, has shared this project on his Reddit.
The owner wrote about this project on Reddit:
I’ve been a long time reader, but not poster. For the last two years I’ve been working on a 2000 watt to 4000 watt solar system for my Model Y — Today I can charge anywhere in the world!
He believes it can increase the daily range by over 20 miles (32 km).
The owner created a website to monitor his ongoing project, which is currently in beta. You can ask him to build a similar setup or obtain the blueprints.
In a different effort to harness solar power for vehicles, a group of scientists embarked on a 9,400-mile journey around Australia in 2022 using a Tesla. However, their approach involved 18 large, rollable panels measuring 59 feet.
The creator of DartSolar is now planning a new version, aiming to make it “completely out of carbon fiber” and nearly half the height, as mentioned in a recent Reddit post.
He expressed optimism that he expects a daily charging capacity of around 50 to 75 miles with version two.
Here is the video: