Fisker electric SUV is getting a solar roof

21 June 2019 - Autoblog

Fisker electric SUV is getting a solar roof

Teaser shows an overhead shot of the car's roof and wide hips

Henrik Fisker looks like he plans on feeding us a slow drip of teasers for his upcoming electric crossover. Today's nugget of news is about the car's solar roof, and the fact that there is one.The Karma Revero (formerly the Fisker Karma) has a solar roof of its own, so this detail isn't as surprising as it may seem at first.

Fisker dropped the teaser on his Facebook page, and the vehicle looks rather futuristic from the top. Fancy, amber bracketry is visible set against a dark, black backdrop. The patterned design even continues on what appears to be a moonroof set far back into the car. We get a decent view of the car's wide rear hips and the wraparound LED taillights, too. It looks like Fisker has decided to place the charge port right where folks would expect the cap would be for gasoline, and those funky rear three-quarter turn signals are visible again from the top.

Unfortunately, the solar roof is truly more of a gimmick and neat luxury feature than a functional component of the vehicle. Fisker didn't make any claims as to how much charge the solar panels can provide, but history tells us it's not much. Current solar technology shows we should expect to see about 1-2 kWh of power generated per day sitting in sunlight from one solar panel. That figure could go up or down slightly depending on your location and the current weather conditions. You'll need to make sure the car is parked with its roof in direct sunlight, too. Fisker has previously said the SUV will feature a "+80kWh lithium-ion battery pack." Just roughing out the math, a zero to full charge is measurable in months, not weeks or days. Many other electric cars haven't implemented solar panels in their roofs due to the payoff just not being worth it yet. The solar panel is expensive, and the benefits tend to not outweigh the costs when you can just plug in to the wall for fast charging.

Think of it more as a neat thing to show your friends, and not as an efficient way to charge your electric car. It looks cool, but solar technology has a long way to go before it becomes cost-effective in an implementation like this.

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