Criswell thinks that Tesla is going to solve this puzzle, and soon. Tesla and glass are becoming a thing, ‘case you haven’t noticed. Witness the household solar roof products, and the newish in-house glass division, and the big-sky Model X windshield/moonroof, and the new Model S glass roof option.
It won’t be long before Tesla’s automotive roofs perform meaningful functions. At first, they might generate enough energy to nix vampire draw. With time, they’ll extend range a bit, and so on until they become a vital part of the vehicle’s powertrain. Yes, vehicles are lagging behind buildings in solar harnessing, but all indicators point to Tesla closing that gap very soon. Technology, some of it pioneered by Tesla, will make smaller and smaller surfaces usefully photovoltaic. If solar-plus-battery go together like peanut butter and jelly in buildings, the same combo will soon work in vehicles. So says Criswell.
Recently Karma announced that the Revero's solar roof can now also charge the car's HV battery as well as the 12V
Not to be outdone, Toyota is making a solar roof optional on the upcoming Prius Prime in some markets
*Editor's Note: This and other Tesla-related posts appear on TeslaMondo. Check it out here.