A Tesla Model Y owner is catching more than just rays after building a custom solar roof for his electric vehicle, with the Beta One version of his panels garnering attention across the internet.
As detailed by Electrek, the unique solar roof is able to increase the range of the EV by more than 20 miles each day.
“For the last two years I’ve been working on a 2,000-watt to 4,000-watt solar system for my Model Y — today I can charge anywhere in the world!” the inventor of the panels wrote on Reddit. “… I can expand these solar panels with ease and contract them when I want to start driving.”
While Tesla thought about using solar cells in the roof of its Model 3 as early as 2017, per Electrek, as well as in the newly released Cybertruck, those plans haven’t come fruition, making the custom fit an intriguing development.
According to DartSolar, the inventor’s website, the Beta One is able to fit into an average-size parking spot when fully expanded, is weather-proof, and is light enough to sit on the roof rack of an EV.
A 3D printer was used to construct the roof add-on, and the inventor pointed out on his website that the “payback period” after installing the $4,000 roof was “quite short,” with the clean form of energy also easing his “doomsday worries.”
EVs are already good for the planet because they don’t produce harmful pollution from their tailpipes, and they save their owners money compared to traditional gas-powered vehicles. In addition to requiring less maintenance, they don’t guzzle expensive fuel.
There is a minimal monetary cost to pulling power from the electrical grid, though, as well as an environmental toll, which is one reason why companies other than Tesla have looked into solar-powered solutions for the vehicles.
The product doesn’t yet have a patent, but the inventor said he is working on a Beta Two version that will be five inches shorter than the 11-inch Beta One and made completely from carbon fiber rather than wood.
Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.