China’s New EV Truck Recharges While Driving. With a Retractable Solar Roof?

Chinese automaker EdisonFuture, a subsidiary of renewable energy firm SPI Energy, revealed the first images of its EF1-T pickup truck EV, a report from InsideEVs explains. The pickup has a sloping retractable solar panel roof that can add range while the vehicle is on the road.

The EF1-T has a four-door configuration as well as an open bed in the back that can be fully covered to add extra range via solar power, even while driving. The vehicle has obvious similarities to Tesla’s Cybertruck, which somewhat surprisingly added a solar panel option after it was first unveiled — Tesla CEO Elon Musk has, on several occasions, voiced his skepticism over solar charging cars.

The ‘standard’ single-motor version of the EF1-T comes with a 470 horsepower engine that goes 0-60 (96 km) in 6.5 seconds, while the ‘premium’ model adds an extra motor enabling it to go 0-60 in 4.5 seconds. A ‘super’ version of the vehicle, meanwhile, has three motors, offering 816 horsepower, and allowing it to go 0-60 in only 3.9 seconds.

In a press statement, EdisonFuture said the EF1-T, as well as a van version of the vehicle called the EF1-V, feature “a uniquely designed solar mosaic technology that provides a stunning visual signature while also harnessing the power of the sun to recharge the batteries, enabling work vehicles to continuously charge while in the field.”

Bizarrely, as far as we can tell, the automaker hasn’t actually released any information regarding the battery size, range, or solar charging specifications of the EF1-T, though a prototype of the vehicle is due to go on display at the LA Auto Show in mid-November, so we may learn more information then. EdisonFuture also said it will begin accepting reservations for the pickup during the show.

While we’re likely pretty far off seeing vehicles that run solely on solar power, we’re increasingly seeing pickups and cars fitted with solar panels as the technology matures, allowing for added range figures that aren’t negligible. Dutch automaker Lightyear, for example, states on its website that its Lightyear One car can add 7 miles (12 km) of range per hour via solar charging. Lightyear eventually aims to develop vehicles that can go months without needing to charge via conventional means. Stay posted to learn more about the range figures of the EF1-T when we find out more in the very near future.






One response to “China’s New EV Truck Recharges While Driving. With a Retractable Solar Roof?”

  1. Andree Saxer avatar
    Andree Saxer

    I’ve been seeing a lot of evidence that keeps me from getting excited about EV cars/trucks. Videos of batteries starting on fire when charging, in minor fender benders, or exposed to salt water. The salt water could be from driving on the coast, living in a hurricane zone, or snow melting after being salted. To compound the injury here, normal junk yards can’t take totalled EVs, because the battery makes them hazmat. Both written, and video evidence of high enough EMF readings inside the vehicle to be dangerous to living beings. I can’t imagine just how much more EMF would be emitted if driving in a charging vehicle. Similarly, the EMF off a cellular phone is fairly high, but while charging is scary high. My final point is that the history, and expense records, from solar panel manufacturers, prove that a solar panel never puts out enough energy in it’s lifespan to cover the energy used to make it. In conclusion, these EV cars are charged by fossil fuels, and the charge requires more fuel/ mile than a gas powered vehicle uses normally. Mining all the components of a solar panel with fossil fuels, and the electricity used to manufacture solar panels, costs more than a solar panel will ever save you. The big price tag of an EV doesn’t help it’s cause any, and the EMF is similar to sitting in a microwave.
    Show me something that truly safes fuel, money, and isn’t toxic to humans, and I’ll get excited.

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