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I've been looking into solar charging options. I found a charging panel that in a you tube video will get you about 15 miles of juice, after an 8 hour charge. Is it even possible or safe to charge this car with solar while driving or will the car not start while plugged in?
Also anyone on here diy solar charger for your e vehicle? I am still baffled by the idea that we cannot fully convert a fiat into a solar vehicle.
Complete newbie here. Just fascinated by the potential.
Thanks-Banana!
 

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forget about charging while driving for now. you have to consider the BASICS. the battery is 24kWh, the car can drive on average 3-5mi/kWh, the area of the car is ~62sqft (as seen from the top, covering EVERYTHING from front bumper to rear bumper, side to side). solar panels on average are ~15w/sqft this gives you ~930watts for the whole car (making it undriveable).

For ease of calculations, we'll say you have a 1kW solar array (930w is just shy of 1kW) this means on solar alone you could possibly drive 3-5mph.... yeah good luck with that.


Now, if you really wanted to charge the car on solar NOT while driving it, you could possibly pack a solar array into the back while driving, and set it up when not driving. To charge the car the average daily commute (US:32mi) you'd need to feed the battery minimum 6.4kWh of juice per day, in PERFECT sunlight you could have a 1kw array (same area as the car takes up) for 6.4 hours. But you never do have perfect sunlight, and every conversion from the ~18vdc solar panel to the ~360vdc battery you lose efficiency as well. so you'd actually want a 2kw array(or more) and 6+ hours to charge the car for the average daily commute.

Panels alone would cost ~$2500, then you need to either get an inverter to convert the DC to the AC the onboard charger can take, OR figure out how to directly feed the pack with DC which would take voltage boost circuits (and convince the charge controller it's ok, or make your own charge controller). AND you'd need a reliable sunny place to park where you have 3x the size of the car for 6+ hours every day.

It's just not worth the headache with the efficiency and cost of panels at the moment. When we can get panels that are 1kw/sqft that'd be PLENTY, BUT the sun doesn't put out that much energy. We get at most 126W/sqft. (and this is in orbit BTW, NOT after the atmosphere has taken a lot of that energy away). IF we could get that energy at the surface, AND the car was covered in perfect panels, we would have ~7.8kW to deal with, which at the efficiency of the car now would mean ~40mph on solar alone.
 

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@Ironhydroxide well laid out!

I'd get solar on your house (or even portable setup for rentals) and take advantage of local and federal rebates while you still can. Tesla has been very competitive lately. Before they started dropping prices, it would have taken me 20yrs to break even, now it's half that and I don't live in a great area for solar. You could even DIY with proper research and planning.
 
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