Mercedes-Benz to offer solar roofs on electric vehicles starting in 2024
Mounting solar panels on cars sounds like a lovely idea until you look at it tangible benefits they can provide. For most applications, even on an ideal sunny day, the gain in power range is minimal – we’re talking miles in low single digits. However, Mercedes-Benz believes in solar panels and will begin offering them in production electric vehicles by 2024.
This news comes from a media conference where Markus Schäfer, CTO of Mercedes-Benz, spoke about New Vision EQXX.
“Thus, customers will likely have the choice in the future to opt for a completely uninterrupted glass roof, or a solar roof, which is extremely aesthetically appealing, but also offers the same benefits. of introducing additional energy the battery,” said Schäfer.
If we look at Mercedes‘implementing a solar roof in Vision EQXX, the benefits look quite useful. Over the course of a day in ideal conditions, Mercedes shows that the Vision EQXX’s solar panels will add up to 15.5 miles of range on long-distance journeys. For comparison, Euro-spec Ioniq 5’s The solar roof is claimed to add a little more than 3 miles per day and Sonata Hybrid’s solar roof tell more about 2 mileage of electric driving capacity per day.
“We work with the German research institute Fraunhofer… who have co-developed with us, solar panels, a very efficient solar panel roof that we are including in our vehicles. itself, and that is the idea with future mass vehicles, which will probably start 2024 with an increasing number of solar roofs on Mercedes-Benz vehicles,” said Schäfer.
Mercedes’ idea of using rooftop solar panels is not exactly what you think it is. Instead of powering a large lithium-ion battery pack directly, energy from the Vision EQXX’s 117 rooftop solar cells is fed and stored in a separate lithium-iron-phosphate battery. This battery powers the blower, lights, infotainment system and other ancillary equipment. By using these separate batteries to power those systems, you put less strain on the high-voltage system, thereby increasing operating range. That said, Mercedes says it is also developing a solar system capable of powering a high-voltage electrical system.
It’s not yet clear how much range a production Mercedes EV can achieve from the sun, but we suspect the final figure will be less than the 15.5 miles of the Vision EQXX. After all, not every new Mercedes-Benz EV will have 0.17 Cd.
And because this is a Mercedes-Benz, Schäfer has mentioned several times that the solar roofs themselves would be beautiful. We will be very interested in seeing what the manufacturer roofs look like and what they have to offer from a range standpoint.