A Model Y owner has successfully created a system that allows his electric crossover to charge from solar energy while parked outside. The system is currently in the proof of concept stage, but it is already providing the vehicle with a significant amount of charge per day. The owner has conducted tests in Los Angeles, where there is an abundance of sunlight. The results have been encouraging, with the vehicle gaining 20 miles of charge using the system’s 2,000 watt model through AC charging, and 60 miles using the system’s 4,000 watt model through DC charging.
One of the notable aspects of the setup is that it does not exceed the Model Y’s maximum roof weight capacity of 165 lbs. The solar charger is also designed to be non-intrusive, fitting within a single parking space even when fully extended. The current prototype, Beta 1, is made of wood and carbon fiber tubes and stands 11 inches tall. However, a Beta 2 version made entirely of carbon fiber and measuring just 6 inches in height is currently being developed.
The Model Y owner aims to achieve a cost of about $1 per watt for the solar charger, making it an affordable option. Additionally, other electric vehicle owners have observed that the solar array may help keep the cabin cool, thereby preserving the battery charge.
If you’re interested, you can watch a video about the solar-powered EV charging system created by the Model Y owner.