Solar panels attached to a truck generate around half of the vehicle’s energy needs each year
Spotted: As 100 European cities agree to try to become carbon neutral by 2030, clean transport has been highlighted as one of the major components of achieving that goal. E-mobility experts Sono Motors have developed what could become part of the solution – solar-powered refrigerated trucks. With the potential to generate at least 50 per cent of each vehicle’s energy needs each year, solar panels fitted to the trucks could reduce operating costs and increase vehicle efficiency.
For industrial fleet operators, the use of renewable power keeps overall costs lower in the face of rising fuel prices. Vehicles produce fewer emissions, and the panels do not add more than three to six kilogrammes of weight per square metre to the vehicle, so efficiency is unaffected. The panels can be fitted to trucks in a range of sizes and shapes, on the roof alone or the sides and roof together.
For diesel vehicles, the solar panels can power heating and cooling systems along with auxiliary functions such as lifts and automatic doors. For electric vehicles, the Sono Motors panels can provide on-the-go charging as well as an extended range for each charge. Development of the panels is focused on increasing design flexibility, reducing the thickness and weight of each panel, and increasing the efficiency of the transfer of energy to power.
Sono Motors has also developed The Sion, a self-charging car that has solar cells seamlessly integrated into its body.
Written by: Keely Khoury