VIA Motors and Bob Lutz are at the LA Show in a big way. On Thursday the company has a big presentation to make; but before then you can check out the company's solar tonneau cover yourself from the floor of the motor show
Another Look At The 800 Watt Tonneau Cover (Photo: C.C. Weiss / Gizmag.com)
Not a lot about this product is known, but VIA says it can provide up to 10 miles of extra range for their VTrux vehicle - which already comes with an estimated 40 miles of all electric, extended range driving.
Napkin-back math time:
The VIA truck has a 24.4 kWh liquid-cooled nanophosphate lithium-ion batteries sourced from A123 Systems, and assuming a similar depth of discharge usage of that of Mr. Lutz's first EREV creation - the Chevrolet Volt, we can assume the VTrux uses about 16 kWh worth of power to go those 40 miles. As the company claims 10 miles worth of added energy, that would equal about 4 kWh of solar production in a day.
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VIA says they will sell both a
400 watt 600 watt and a 800 watt cover - so given the right amount of solar hours in a day (5+) on the larger unit and some conservative driving - 10 miles seems achievable to us. (Just remember to always park your truck so the panels face solar south at about 35° - give or take)
According to Gizmag (where you can also find even more pics on the cover) the cost will be from around $2,000.