Tesla unveiled a fold-out solar trailer equipped with nine panels and a SpaceX Starlink satellite internet system.
Tesla unveiled a new solar trailer concept for the range extender at IdeenExpo in Hannover, Germany. The trailer includes a fold-out set of nine solar panels and the SpaceX Starlink satellite internet system.
The trailer cab would produce around 50 miles of extra EV range, assuming the modules pictured are around 300W each. This brings the capacity of the generator to around 2.7 kW.
The average US driver drives around 39 miles a day on their daily commute, so the trailer could be a useful alternative to home charging. Tesla has yet to say if the prototype will go into mass production.
The trailer also includes SpaceX’s Starlink, a satellite internet hub that delivers high-speed, low-latency internet to remote and rural locations by connecting to an orbiting SpaceX Starlink satellite. Starlink is currently offered for residential and RV applications for an initial hardware cost of around $600, plus $110 to $135 per month for ongoing service.
Models of solar trailers continued to appear around the world, designed for various applications. In Munich, Sono Motors recently announced its intention to equip the city’s bus fleet with trailers surmounted by 20 semi-flexible solar panels.
The modules cover an area of 12 square meters and supply the 24 V battery with more than 2000 W. In this pilot project, the solar energy generated will be used to operate the HVAC system and to support the steering system of the trailer . This saves the bus from burning diesel and stabilizes the power supply to the battery, which reduces maintenance costs and extends battery life.
The company said an average-sized fleet of 300 buses could save around 2,000 metric tons of C02 emissions each year. If we consider the “backpack” of 1.5 tons of C02 emissions or the amount of emissions related to the production of the bus trailer, the carbon impact of the production would be offset in less than one year of operation.
In Spain, the startup Polar Developments has created a retractable compact trailer which houses 12 solar panels with a total capacity of 4.4 kW. The system is scalable and can reach a capacity of up to 6.5 kW.
It can be used to supply power to electric cars, scooters or bicycles. It can also provide energy support to homes during power outages, among other uses. The PolarGreen Tow trailer transforms into “an authentic portable micro solar farm” in less than an hour.
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