Solar+Storage

Tesla patents solar-charging tray cover for Cybertruck

Tesla is working on an optional Tonneau Cover for the upcoming Cybertruck, which could double as a solar panel to generate extra electricity during the day.

Elon Musk discussed the option back in 2019, saying that the solar tray cover in addition to fold-out solar wings could regenerate as much as 64km each day. Using the cover alone would provide an extra 24km, if you’re lucky, so says the Tesla CEO.

A new patent for the solar cover says that, “in one embodiment,” the cover comprises 110 solar electric cells that are connected to a photovoltaic charging system and battery. “The battery is the vehicle battery that powers the vehicle, that in one embodiment may be an electric truck.”

“When the cover is deployed to cover the bed and the solar electric cells that make up the slats are facing the sun, the battery within the electric vehicle can be charged by solar electric cells,” the patent states.

The solar cover looks to be a first for electric trucks. GM's electric Hummer doesn’t mention solar charging, and Ford’s just-announced F-150 Lightning also doesn’t appear to offer a similar option, although it will partner with solar company, Sunrun, to facilitate easy installation of the 80-amp Ford Charge Station Pro and home integration system to equip buyers’ houses with solar panels.

Tesla was planning to begin Cybertruck deliveries in the later half of 2021 but rumours are suggesting this could be pushed back to 2022.

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