As the Next Avenue reported earlier, Elon Musk joined comedian Joe Rogan on his podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, where they discussed Tesla’s next-gen Roadster and Musk’s goal of making it hover. They also discussed Tesla’s electric van and the prospect of adding solar power to electric vehicles.
The CEO spoke of the prime surface that vans offer for solar installation saying: “A van, because you have a big flat area, that’s actually where solar starts making a little more sense.”
The biggest problem that presents when it comes to solar power technology on electric vehicles is, it may not be worth the trouble for the amount of power it produces. However with recent tech improvements, it is becoming a more viable feature. In 2017, Musk said that he pushed his Tesla engineers to look into integrating solar cells on Model 3, but he didn’t think it was worth it. Since then, it seems he has had a change of heart and was noted saying it would be an option on the upcoming Tesla Cybertruck.
Now, the CEO has suggested a deployable solar system on a potential electric Tesla van: “You can also have a roof with solar and then when it is stationary and it goes out from the sides to provide shade, now with triple the area and a big flat surface, you can start having enough solar to get something like 30 miles of range per day.”
Musk continued setting a scene where the van is found in a dreary setting while still being able to run on purely solar power: “I think that would be great. Like a van that even if the apocalypse happens, you can still drive it around.”
Hopefully 2021 doesn’t have anything like that in store for us, but if it did, I bet finding one of these hypothetical Tesla vans while trying to escape a zombie mob would be a welcome surprise.