Mashable:

A Tesla Model Y owner got fed up with the company not offering solar panels for its cars, so he built one himself.

Reddit user somid3 shared his project, dubbed Beta One, last week (via Electrek). It’s a deployable solar roof that weighs less than 165 lbs and can retract when the car is in motion. When expanded, the project’s website claims, it fits in a standard parking spot and generates “100 percent clean and net-positive power from the sun.”

But what about the range you actually get from this thing? The website claims that, using nine 175-watt solar panels, Beta One can add 6kWh to the EV per day, which is about 20 miles of range, with five hours of sun. It’s unclear whether the range estimate accounts for the added weight. The website also claims that the solar panels are “easy to assemble,” and that they can be carried “on all EV rooftops, including Teslas.”

The solar roof has a footprint about the size of a roof rack when folded.
Credit: DartSolar

While the project’s website even has a target price estimate of $4,000, the design still in a fairly early stage. In fact, somid3 claims he already has an upgraded, “Beta Two” version in the works, with reduced drag and sleeker profile.

Some EV manufacturers do offer a solar roof as option. This includes Toyota’s new Prius Prime plug-in hybrid and the company’s bZ4X EV, and Fisker Ocean.

As for Tesla, the company did promise that Cybertruck will have a solar roof option, but it’s not available at this time, so the only option for owners who want more independence from chargers is a do-it-yourself solution of some sort.


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MuskWire TLDR:

A Tesla Model Y owner has built a deployable solar roof for his car after being disappointed with Tesla’s lack of solar panel options. The project, called Beta One, was shared by Reddit user somid3 and features a retractable solar roof that weighs less than 165 lbs. When expanded, the solar roof generates clean and net-positive power from the sun. The project claims to add 6kWh, or about 20 miles of range, to the electric vehicle per day using nine 175-watt solar panels. The website also states that the solar panels are easy to assemble and can be carried on all EV rooftops, including Teslas. Although the project has a target price estimate of $4,000, it is still in the early stages, with an upgraded Beta Two version in development. While some EV manufacturers offer solar roofs as an option, such as Toyota’s Prius Prime and Fisker Ocean, Tesla has not yet made its solar roof option available.