The idea of solar-powered vehicles is very appealing. In particular, concept vehicles with solar PV roofs and solar tonneau pickup truck covers get people giddy. (Unfortunately, there is less hype about the fact that you can buy an electric car, put solar panels on your roof, and then essentially drive on sunshine*.)
The idea of a solar PV roof or hood on a car has some potentially good uses cases, but it also comes with design drawbacks, shade challenges, and accident risk that all cost money. A solar tonneau for a pickup truck faces many of the same challenges, but it also has some additional pros. For one, it can be removable, allowing you to collect sunlight elsewhere when that’s useful. Secondly, it’s probably less likely to get damaged in a minor accident. Furthermore, a work truck may have more need for an extra, remote charge from sunlight. Well, now another advantage is that you can soon get one.
Worksport (OTCQB: WKSP) is now selling the TerraVis system “This groundbreaking innovation is the very first to combine practical, durable tonneau covers with a cutting-edge solar generation and energy storage system.”
You may be thinking, “Ah, well, that’s cool, but it’s clearly a niche product. Who the heck is Worksport, after all?” However, the company notes that “it is presently in discussions with various parties interested in commercial partnerships with the TerraVis™ technology system, including a high-profile future electric truck manufacturer.” (Also, by the way, Worksport is apparently well known in this industry for its tonneau covers.)
The solar PV system will reportedly have a power capacity of 1000 watts, and will include lithium-ion battery units with an estimated power capacity of 2 kW (energy capacity was not mentioned), which would mean trickle charging but could well be a lifesaver in the boonies.
“Everyone is moving towards solar power and renewable energy sources and so is the pick-up truck market. Our system is being designed to, among other things, provide a meaningful source of energy for the new wave of electric trucks,” said Steven Rossi, WKSP.
The company adds: “Endless possibilities — Ranging from supporting a workstation at home, or on the job, to powering a campsite, or even providing immediate power in the face of a crisis or natural disaster, the TerraVis™ energy store and mobile charging pack is designed to be invaluable in any circumstance that demands mobile power.
*Want to buy a Tesla vehicle and rooftop solar panels to have your very own solar-powered vehicle? Feel free to use my referral code to get some free Supercharging miles with your purchase and a $100 discount on the solar panels: https://ts.la/zachary63404