Tesla unveils a TRAILER with pop-out solar panels that could charge your electric car on the go and a built-in SpaceX Starlink internet satellite dish
- Tesla has unveiled new solar range extender trailer with Starlink internet system
- It revealed it at an exposition in Germany – but not expected to be available soon
- Tesla surprised with a system that equips a trailer with deployable solar panels
- Recent Starlink update allows use of terminal to get internet in moving vehicles
But there have been no further details from Tesla, suggesting the car maker will not make the equipment available to the public any time soon.
Nevertheless, with electric cars becoming more popular, many companies are exploring ways to extend the vehicles’ range – particularly in more remote locations.
Revealed: Tesla has unveiled a trailer with pop-out solar panels that can charge a car on the go — as well as a built-in SpaceX Starlink satellite dish to deliver internet to the moving vehicle
But there have been no further details from Tesla, suggesting the car maker will not make the equipment available to the public any time soon
The problem has always been that solar power doesn’t add much to the range of the car, because it is not as efficient as electrical energy.
It has led many electric vehicle owners to seek alternative solutions, with several companies revealing ideas for deployable solar panels as portable independent charging solutions.
The PolarGreen Tow trailer, for example, has a capacity of up to 6.5 kW and can be used to supply power for electric cars.
Startup Sono Motors has also announced a partnership with European refrigerated trailer expert CHEREAU to develop a solar-powered option for fleet trucks and trailers.
After Tesla’s unveiling, one enthusiast wrote on Twitter: ‘Tesla is at the “IdeenExpo” in Hannover.
‘They brought a solar range extender trailer with Starlink.’
Based on the images of the solar range extender trailer, website Electrek estimates that, if all of the panels are 300W, then the optimum output would be 2.7kW.
This means the concept would generate less than 50 miles of range a day extended, or a third of that folded up.
The trailer is also equipped with a Starlink satellite internet receiver from SpaceX.
The trailer is also equipped with a Starlink satellite internet receiver from SpaceX (pictured)
Based on the images of the solar range extender trailer, the optimum output would be 2.7kW
Tesla also brought a Model Y cutout, showing off its new structural battery pack with 4680 battery cells
This system was recently updated to allow users to get internet in moving vehicles.
SpaceX has launched some 2,700 Starlink satellites into low-Earth orbit and has more than 400,000 subscribers worldwide.
However, the firm hopes to have as many as 42,000 satellites in its megaconstellation.
The space internet currently costs $110 (£92) a month, with a $599 (£501) one-time equipment fee.
In May, Starlink also introduced a paid add-on feature that allows customers to ‘temporarily’ move their service to different locations. This costs an additional $25 (£20) per month for users in the US.
At the Hannover IdeenExpo, Tesla also brought a Model Y cutout, showing off its new structural battery pack with 4680 battery cells.
It is not clear why Tesla built the trailer and unveiled it at the show, but it appears to be have been designed as more of an attraction for the exposition.
ELON MUSK’S SPACEX SET TO BRING BROADBAND INTERNET TO THE WORLD WITH ITS STARLINK CONSTELLATION OF SATELLITES
Elon Musk’s SpaceX has launched more than 2,000 of its ‘Starlink’ space internet satellites into orbit and hopes to have 12,000 in the sky by 2026.
They form a constellation designed to provide low-cost broadband internet service from low Earth orbit.
While satellite internet has been around for a while, it has suffered from high latency and unreliable connections.
Starlink is different. SpaceX said its goal is to provide high-speed, cable-like internet all over the world.
Musk has previously said the venture could give three billion people who currently do not have access to the internet a cheap way of getting online.
It could also help fund a future city on Mars.
Helping humanity reach the red planet is one of Musk’s long-stated aims and was what inspired him to start SpaceX.
Musk’s rival Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon, also plans to launch a constellation of low Earth-orbit satellites to provide broadband access to remote areas, as part of its Project Kuiper.
However, astronomers have raised concerns about the light pollution and other interference cased by these satellite constellations.