Tesla continues active construction of Giga Texas from the assembly line of which the first Cybertrucks should roll off this year. The company has now published a patent that reveals additional features of the electric pickup that will come in handy. According to the description of the built-in cover tonneau for Cybertruck, it can have solar panels.
In 2019, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that Cybertruck will have an option with built-in solar panels that can generate power for about 15 miles or more per day. He also pointed out that adding fold out solar wings could generate energy another 30-40 miles per day in the United States.
Will be an option to add solar power that generates 15 miles per day, possibly more. Would love this to be self-powered. Adding fold out solar wings would generate 30 to 40 miles per day. Avg miles per day in US is 30.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 22, 2019
The addition of solar panels that could generate energy to yield extra miles is highly desirable and, for some owners, critical. Since Cybertruck will often be used by those who like to travel in the wild and spend the night in a tent, the ability to recharge the batteries without access to charging will be extremely valuable.
On May 27, Tesla published the patent “Integrated tonneau cover for a vehicle,” connecting this invention to Cybertruck and possibly other vehicles. However, the present invention describes in detail the importance of covering the pickup truck bed, since the things put in it can be reliably protected from the harmful effects of weather conditions and safe from possible theft. However, these are not necessarily the only functions of the tonneau cover.
In one embodiment of the invention, it is described that solar electric cells can be embedded in the tonneau cover. As described, they are electrically connected to a photovoltaic charging system and a battery.
"In one embodiment, the tonneau cover comprises solar electric cells that are electrically connected to a photovoltaic charging system and battery. In one embodiment, the battery is the vehicle battery that powers the vehicle, which in one embodiment may be an electric truck. the tonneau cover is deployed to cover the bed and the solar electric cells that make up the slats are facing the sun, the battery within the electric vehicle can be charged by the solar electric cells."
FIG. 1A shows a perspective view of an embodiment of a vehicle with a truck bed cover in a closed position, according to this disclosure. Source: Tesla patent
This patent confirms that Tesla has clear intentions to introduce Cybertruck with solar panels as an option. However, it also hints that the company could apply it to its other car models as well as other types of vehicles, which probably relates to the possibility of selling the invention to other car companies.
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About the Author
Eva Fox joined Tesmanian in 2019 to cover breaking news as an automotive journalist. The main topics that she covers are clean energy and electric vehicles. As a journalist, Eva is specialized in Tesla and topics related to the work and development of the company.