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EV’s Are Missing Something

November 23, 2010

The age of the electric Vehicle (EV) has finally dawned with the production releases of the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf. Beautiful cars, but way too pricey for the average joe.

Take a good look at these cars and see if you notice something missing. No, you say? They do have all the normal car parts. The thing is, these are not normal cars. They are electric cars with huge battery packs. You could easily get electrocuted if you worked on one of these without knowing what you’re doing. Serious power! The amount of power needed to run a small house. So I would expect EV designers to capture every available electron to charge the battery.

The designers must have been asleep at the wheel when they failed to include integrated solar panels on the hood, the roof, and the trunk. Most cars spend their lives in the sun, so it would make perfect sense to take advantage of that fact. A lot of people drive to work and park their car in an unshaded parking lot for the entire day. Solar panels could add a lot of charge to the battery while it just sits there.

The main reason for changing over to electric cars is to kick our addiction to carbon-based fossil fuels. Much of the power used to charge these EV’s comes from power plants that burn coal – the nastiest of fossil fuels. Solar panels probably wouldn’t fully charge an empty battery pack in a day, but they would certainly lessen the amount of power needed from the grid. They would also increase the driving range and help run all the electrical gizmos and climate controls that otherwise drain the power needed to turn the wheels.

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