At a trade show in Germany, Tesla presented a trailer with nine panels with photovoltaic cells. This prototype could be used to increase the autonomy of the car and to provide energy when parking. It also features an antenna to link to SpaceX’s Starlink network.
Tesla surprised visitors to the IdeenExpo exhibition in Hannover. Its teams landed with a rather special trailer, as a post on Twitter shows:
Tesla is at the “IdeenExpo” in Hannover.
They brought a solar range extender trailer with Starlink.
And a Model Y with the 4680 structural battery pack.
Next to the Tesla stand is the VW stand. There are apparently more VW employees at the Tesla stand than Tesla employees. pic.twitter.com/8IHxLI5ukW
— Tesla_Adri (@tesla_adri) July 4, 2022
This strange coupling has nine photovoltaic panels and, a priori, the sets located on the left and on the right can retract into the central module. According to calculations by the Electrek site, assuming these are 300 W panels, the assembly could generate a power of 900 W in folded mode and 2700 W in unfolded mode. In this second configuration, the power generated would provide approximately 80 kilometers of autonomy.
Tesla did not provide any information on the characteristics or functions of this prototype. And the manufacturer does not plan to offer it for sale. However, it shows that research is underway to try to increase the autonomy of electric vehicles. For example, manufacturers such as Aptera, Sono and Lightyear are working on installing solar panels on vehicles. Lightyear even introduced the first mass-produced solar car. It is equipped with five square meters of double curvature solar panels, which ensure a load while driving or stationary, if there is enough sun. Thus, the vehicle could gain up to 70 km of additional autonomy per day.
We can also imagine that this trailer would be very practical for camping. It would provide energy, but also to easily connect to the Internet. For this, it includes an antenna intended to access Starlink, the satellite network of SpaceX, another company of the boss of Tesla. Note that SpaceX should soon launch a mobile version of its system to allow you to connect to the Internet on the move. For this, the company has received authorization from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States.