Tech

Do Car Solar Battery Chargers Actually Work?

These days, there is an ever-growing interest in renewable energy sources, from individuals and companies alike. One such renewable source, from our sun, could actually charge your electric car for you. These are called solar car battery chargers. But can these devices really keep your car charged up, or are they more of a gimmick?

How Does A Solar Car Battery Charger Work?

Like the huge solar panels you see on the roofs of houses and in large fields, solar car battery chargers work using photovoltaic (or PV) cells that convert solar energy into electrical energy by generating an electrical current. Given that the sun is constantly releasing huge amounts of energy, solar car battery chargers have a (potentially) endless supply of power that can be used to fuel your car.

Of course, using electricity from the sun instead of that from environmentally harmful power stations is a much more sustainable choice, but there are some reasons why solar car battery chargers may not be as fantastic as you’d think.

The Drawbacks of Solar Car Battery Chargers

Unfortunately, a lot of the technology we can use to harbor renewable energy still has its limitations, and this is certainly the case with solar power. The main drawback associated with this kind of electricity production is that it’s entirely dependent on the weather.

Though weather-controlling technology has been tested in a few countries, we’re definitely not yet able to choose the way our climate behaves. So, if the sky happens to be dense with thick clouds, this renders solar panels effectively useless, as the amount of power they can extract from the sun is vastly reduced.

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It’s this kind of unpredictability that makes it very difficult for us to rely on solar panels entirely. If you’re relying on a solar car battery charger alone, one cloudy day could prevent you from being able to use your car at all. So, solar EV chargers are particularly restrictive for those living in cloudier climates.

On top of this, car solar battery chargers are much smaller than those you’re used to seeing. After all, the average electric car is only so big, which means regular-sized panels cannot be used as chargers. But the size of a solar panel and the amount of solar energy it can convert at any given moment directly correlate. So, a solar battery car charger simply can’t provide your car with that much electricity.


Lastly, solar car chargers take a long time to fully charge, and the payoff isn’t that great. Though every electric car takes a different amount of time to charge, with some taking hours, just one charge from a power outlet can take you a lot farther than the charge of a solar car battery charger. What’s more, on a cloudy day, your solar charger will take even longer to charge, which can be very inconvenient and frustrating.

This is why solar car battery chargers work as trickle chargers, meaning that they can be used to maintain an electric car’s battery but not to fully charge it. Paired at home with a proper battery to store solar power, you can adjust the supply from the battery to your EV to get around the issue. Otherwise, you’ll need to find an electric charging station en route. Even so, before your journey, you’ll want to make sure that you charge your vehicle via an outlet.


Solar Car Battery Chargers Won’t Replace Traditional Chargers—Yet

While solar car battery chargers could certainly prove to be useful, they’re still a pretty new product on the market, and they’re simply not advanced enough to replace outlet chargers yet. So, if you’re looking for a nifty little gadget to give your car’s battery a little boost now and then, a solar car battery charger could be a great option for you.



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