DougWantsALeaf wrote:I still wish that Nissan would put useful solar on the roof for an upcharge. Even 200-300 Watt Hours worth would add a dynamic of range extension for commuting, and emergency power that would be very useful. Certainly worth a $500-$1K upgrade. A full kilowatt, even better.
I'd rather spend the money on extra battery. Nowadays $1,000 might buy up to 5 kWh battery. Battery Vs PV on a car is not exactly an apples to apples comparison but it is close enough for most people's use profile that I think the cheaper alternative will prevail.
batteries the cheaper option, and do they provide the most flexibility? For apartment dwellers who have to park on the street, and renters generally who can't charge at home, PV is likely a better choice, at least in sunnier climates. PV should also be cheaper than batteries and is definitely lighter, making the vehicle more efficient.
PV big enough to run the hotel loads on hot days will help any car's efficiency, and also being able to charge the traction battery can provide some people with all the charging they need. I'm obviously an exception to the typical user, but I could use a car with an array the size (860Wp) of the Toyota Prime now being tested and be able to fully charge a BEV-sized pack between trips. For people with more typical commutes, a PHEV that can fully charge at work will replace some or all of their gas, with no other infrastructure required.
Specific to people like me who often sleep in their cars, the ability to run the hotel HVAC while doing so and then leave the car for a day or two while we backpack or ski, knowing that it will be charging during the day when we're gone, is fantastic.
I look forward to seeing useful rather than token-sized PV optionally on cars, esp. PEVs, in the not too distant future. Those of us who know we will benefit from it will choose it, and the rest can save themselves some money and ignore it.