Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

CleanTechnica
A look at the Tesla Cybertruck's solar-powered tonneau cover (Source: Tesla)

Batteries

Inside The Unique Tesla Cybertruck’s Solar Charging Tonneau Cover

The next iteration, hopefully the production version, of Tesla’s Cybertruck should prove to be quite different from the prototype. Questions still remain about its size (ummm, garage-compatible?) and some of the forthcoming design tweaks. But one production-ready feature, teased via a recent Tesla patent application, really seems to stand out.

It turns out that a Tesla Cybertruck patent application recently surfaced on the websites of the US Patent Office (USPTO) and the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO). It’s likely this patent application hints at Tesla’s eagerness to start Cybertruck production soon — sometime later this year at Giga Texas.

Okay, so what did the patent application reveal? It looks like Tesla could have a solar charging tonneau cover in the works. To be clear, the solar charging bed cover was already teased during Cybertruck’s launch event — but this patent provides a definite sign that Tesla actually intends to take this to production.

Watching the Cybertruck bed open and close (YouTube: Gresham Online)


The opening and closing of the Cybertruck bed cover was showcased on the evening of the unveiling (see above). However, Tesla’s patent application shows how this functionality actually works — interesting stuff for those engineering nerds out there.

Section 0039 of Tesla’s patent (WO 2021/102174 A1) notes:

“In one embodiment, the tonneau cover comprises solar electric cells that are electrically connected to a photovoltaic charging system and battery. … When the tonneau 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 the solar electric cells.”

Schematic from the Tesla Cybertruck patent application (Source: WIPO)

Back in 2016, Elon Musk had actually hinted at a solar car roof for the Tesla Model 3 on Twitter. And Tesla partner Panasonic has long-been producing solar car roofs for the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid and Nissan Leaf. However, a solar-powered tonneau cover would be something wholly new for the pickup truck segment.

That said, it’s not clear how much energy the solar cells (from the tonneau cover) will be able to “charge” back into the Cybertruck battery pack. According some online observers (and their guesstimates), the size of the bed cover should be able to generate some 500–900 watts of energy for charging the battery on the go or while camping in the wild.

Regardless of the actual solar power available, it’ll be nice to drive the dark, ominous, apocalyptic Cybertruck on shiny rays of sunshine.

Originally posted on Tesla Oracle & EVANNEX.

 
Don't want to miss a cleantech story? Sign up for daily news updates from CleanTechnica on email. Or follow us on Google News!
 

Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Advertisement
 
 

Written By

Iqtidar Ali writes for X Auto about Tesla and electric vehicles. A true car enthusiast since his childhood, he covers his stories with an utmost passion, which is now guided by the mission towards sustainability. With over 1 decade of website development experience, he’s also our IT resource at hand. He also writes about tech stuff at UXTechPlus.com occasionally. Iqtidar can easily be reached on Twitter @IqtidarAlii (DM open for tips, feedback or a friendly message) or via email: iqtidar@xautoworld.com.

Comments

You May Also Like

Cars

The UK auto market saw plugin electric vehicles (EVs) take 20.0% share of new sales in January, flat from 20.4% year on year. Full...

Cars

Used Tesla vehicles have dropped in price in recent months, causing many prospective buyers to consider buying one with a lower price tag and...

Cars

In this article, I explain that Tesla has dropped its lease pricing so much that it costs the same to lease a Tesla Model...

Cars

A big portion of new car buyers are now buying fully electric cars. But more are buying non-electric cars. If you’ve been in the...

Copyright © 2023 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.