Can you charge an electric vehicle like the Tesla Model 3 exclusively with solar power? As this video reveals, it can be done, but it’s not particularly easy nor convenient.
The red Tesla Model 3 in this video is owned by YouTuber ItsYeBoi and was rigged up to a trailer featuring eight large solar panels. To try and make the system as effective as possible, the solar panels were positioned at the more efficient angle to capture as much of the sun’s energy as possible.
While using solar panels to charge small devices like a smartphone is easy, it’s not so easy to charge an electric vehicle like the Tesla Model 3. The YouTuber calculated that he was able to partially charge his Tesla for roughly 30 minutes for every hour of pure sunlight the solar panels were outside. He estimates it would take at least 80 hours of sunshine on clear days, or 100 hours of sunshine on cloudy days, to fully charge the EV. If he were to get 10 hours of sunshine per day, that means it would take roughly 10 days to charge up the Tesla.
Of course, no car manufacturer claims that their vehicles can be charged solely through solar. With that being said, vehicles such as the Toyota Prius Prime and Hyundai Sonata Hybrid do have solar cells on their roofs, but these are generally used to power systems like the stereo and air conditioning.