Portable Solar Panels For Electric Cars

Solar panels convert the energy from sunlight into electricity we can use and store. Their applications range widely, from use on personal rooves to space exploration.

One potentially advantageous application is the use of solar panels on electric cars. When used in this way, they are usually fixed on the roof or the trunk of the vehicle.

To ensure that the solar panel can continuously absorb sunlight, the angle between the solar panel and the sun should be optimized. This article will discuss ten portable solar panels for an electric car.

Electric Car Charging Solar Panels On Houses
Electric Car Charging Solar Panels On Houses

The Benefits of Solar Panels on Electric Cars

In a world that’s searching for ways to use clean energy and reduce fuel costs, solar panels offer many advantages. Let’s discuss a few of them.

1. Solar Panels Charge Electric Car Batteries Quickly

Because many people who drive electric cars must travel long distances each week, they usually need to charge their cars at night when the sun is down.

This poses a problem since the charging process can take a long time. Fortunately, solar panels can help. They can generate enough electricity to fully recharge an electric car within 30 minutes.

2. Solar Panels Reduce Carbon Emissions

Most portable solar panels are made of recyclable materials. That’s one reason why they are widely considered to be environmentally friendly.

Additionally, by saving energy offered up by sunlight, they reduce the need to burn fossil fuels in your car, thus reducing your carbon emissions.

3. They Increase the Range of Your Electric Car

Another benefit of using portable solar panels for electric cars is that, if you use solar panels to charge your electric car, it will extend its range significantly.

This is because your electric car’s battery will last longer if it is charged using solar power instead of relying solely on conventional charging methods.

4. They Increase Your Safety on the Road

It can often be difficult to spot cars on the road, especially if it is dark or your car’s paint color blends in with the surroundings. However, a solar panel glinting with sunlight makes your vehicle more visible to other drivers, thus ensuring a safer driving experience. 

5. They Look Great!

Drivers have always liked to enhance the look of their vehicles, or decorate them with stickers, lights, etc. Installing solar panels is yet another way to add character to your vehicle while sending a sustainable message.

6. Some Even Provide Power On Cloudy or Rainy Days

Certain brands of solar panels work even when clouds and rain are present. Because they are made of unique materials, they can withstand harsh weather conditions and keep charging your vehicle.

7. You Can Connect Them to Form a Larger Panel

One significant advantage of this kind of solar panel is its portability. You can transport them anywhere you go and place them wherever you want.

If you have a large area that needs to be covered, you can connect multiple panels to cover the whole area.

8. They’re Easy to Maintain

Because these solar panels are made of durable plastic, they require hardly any maintenance. Just wipe them off after every use, and they will stay in good condition.

9. They’re Affordable

Compared to other sources of energy, solar energy is extremely cheap. After the initial cost of the panels, solar energy is free! 

Car Park Solar Canopy 1
Car Park Solar Canopy 1

What to Consider When Buying Solar Panels for Your Car

Before investing in a portable solar panel for your electric car, it is essential to consider these factors:

1. How Much Space Do You Have?

This depends on how big your car is. The bigger your car, the more space you have. If you have a small car, you should buy a smaller panel.

2. Do You Need to Charge Your Electric Vehicle Often?

If your answer is yes, then consider buying a larger panel. Otherwise, a smaller panel will do.

3. Can You Fit the Panel In Your Car?

You should be able to, in case you need to transport your panel anywhere for any reason. If you cannot fit a certain panel into your car, you should consider investing in a different kind.

4. How Do You Choose the Right Size?

Make sure that the size of the panel matches your car’s interior perfectly. This means that you must measure your car’s width, length, and height.

5. How Long Does the Battery Last?

The longer the battery lasts, the less frequently you will need to recharge it. A good-quality battery can last up to 20 years.

10 of the Best Portable Solar Panels for an Electric Car

1. Renogy 200-Watt High-Efficiency Monocrystalline Solar Panel 

This is one of the best solar panels available on the market right now. It is highly efficient and the cost per watt is very low.

This solar panel is small, so it will fit almost all types of electric cars. Furthermore, it can produce enough electricity to fully recharge a typical electric car.

Renogy Solar Panel 200 Watt 12 Volt, High-Efficiency Monocrystalline PV Module Power Charger for RV...
  • [Reliable] Advanced encapsulation material with multi-layered sheet laminations enhance cell performance and provide a long...
  • [Durable] Guaranteed positive output tolerance (0-3%); withstands high winds (2400Pa) and snow loads (5400Pa)....
  • [Versatile] This solar panel can be used for many different applications. Ground mount compatible . Compatible with on-grid...

2. Goal Zero Boulder 200-Watt Solar Panel Briefcase

This portable solar panel can generate up to 200 watts of power. The size of this solar panel case is compact, so it can easily fit into briefcases and backpacks. It also comes with carrying straps so you can easily transport it from place to place.

It can also fold up entirely into a briefcase shape. This means you won’t have to waste time searching for a storage space whenever you go somewhere new.

Goal Zero Boulder 200 Briefcase, 200-Watt Monocrystalline Solar Panel with Kickstand, Portable Solar...
  • TOP-CAPACITY FOLDABLE SOLAR PANEL: The Boulder 200 Briefcase is rugged and durable with a tempered-glass and aluminum-frame...
  • HARNESS THE POWER OF THE SUN: Collect enough solar energy to power your world. If you’re living the van life and working...
  • CLEAN & QUIET ENERGY: Wherever you wander, and no matter what you need to power, the Boulder 200’s zero-emission,...

3. Renogy 100 Watt Eclipse Mono Solar Suitcase

This powerful little panel comes with a solar controller, and power leads to hook up. They are also waterproof so you don’t need to worry about the rain.

It comes with a carry case so that you can set it up whenever you need to. These solar panels also boast a high-efficiency rating of 24%.

Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Portable Solar Panel with Waterproof 20A Charger Controller, Foldable 100W...
  • 【SMALLEST IN SIZE】The Renogy Eclipse solar panels using SunPower solar cells, allows higher efficiency and minimized...
  • 【Plug and play solar kit 】complete kit includes a 100W solar suitcase, a 20A waterproof charge controller, and alligator...
  • 【Incomparable efficiency】Renogy Eclipse solar panels using SunPower solar cells with high efficiency of up to 24%...

4. EcoFlow 160 Watt Solar Panel and Battery Bank

Charge your car within less than 6 hours with this solar kit and power bank. This flexible option will allow you to charge your devices when you don’t need them for your car battery.

Charge the power bank up to 80% within just 1 hour! This kit is a great addition for those who love road trips, camping, and days out. You just need to hook it up and it will be charging within no time.

EF ECOFLOW Solar Generator RIVER Pro, 720Wh Portable Power Station with 160W Solar Panel, Power...
  • ⚡[3 x AC OUTLETS AND 720Wh CAPACITY]: The RIVER Pro as a generator can power up to 10 devices simultaneously with multiple...
  • ⚡[RECHARGE FROM 0-80% WITHIN 1 HOUR]: The patented EcoFlow X-Stream technology enables you to charge the RIVER Pro from...
  • ⚡[POWER A WIDE RANGE OF APPLIANCES]: With a built-in 600W inverter, the RIVER Pro can power some devices up to 1800W with...

6. Renogy 100 Watt 12 Volt Flexible Mono Solar Panel

This portable solar panel is ideal for people who want to charge their electric vehicle anytime, anywhere. It is flexible and lightweight as well as foldable and waterproof. This 10” portable solar panel is also easy to install.

Renogy Flexible Solar Panel 100 Watt 12 Volt Monocrystalline Semi-Flexible Bendable Mono Off-Grid...
  • [Extremely Flexible] This flexible solar panel is capable of meeting a wide range of applications where standard panels can...
  • [Ultra Lightweigh] Thanks to advanced polymer materials, these flexible solar panels weighs 70% less than conventional solar...
  • [Super Thin Lamination] Hardly noticeable, the Renogy flexible solar panel 100 watt laid flat is only a tenth of an inch...

8. 28 Watt BigBlue Portable Solar Charger

This is an excellent portable solar panel that is foldable and lightweight, making it easier to carry around. It is also waterproof and can be installed quickly.

For anyone who’s unsure whether to get a full system, this option is cheap, effective, and ready to charge your portable devices via USB ports.

[Upgraded]BigBlue 3 USB-A 28W Solar Charger(5V/4.8A Max), Portable SunPower Solar Panel Charger for...
  • 【Upgraded Triple USB-A Ports】Each maximum output is 5V/2.4A and total maximum current of 3 USB is at 5V/4.8A. BigBlue 28w...
  • 【Higher Solar Conversion】Highly efficient SunPower solar panel convert up to 24% of solar power into free energy in...
  • 【Portable Camping Solar Panel】BigBlue solar charger is a great option if you’re taking an extended camping trip or if...

Car Solar FAQs

1. Are These Solar Panels Safe?

Yes, these solar panels are specially designed from quality materials to be safe as well as effective. These include antistatic material, anti-corrosion coating, and high-temperature insulation.

2. Can I Install These on My Car Roof?

Yes, you can place them on any flat surface. Be aware that any panel’s effectiveness will decrease if there is any shading of its surface.

3. How Many Hours Will These Panels Produce Energy? 

It depends on a variety of factors including weather and the placement of the panel, but generally speaking, portable solar panels produce enough electricity for 8 hours.

4. Are They Effective?

As long as there is direct sunlight, they are very effective. Even on cloudy days, solar panels can produce enough electricity to enable you to drive your electric car for periods.

5. What Do I Have to Know to Install a Solar Panel?

You need to know how to fix and remove your panel when not in use. Otherwise, you might damage the solar panel during installation or removal.


General Solar Panel FAQ

What Problems Do Solar Panels Solve?

In environmental terms, solar panels can potentially solve a handful of problems, including;
1. Air pollution
2. Water pollution
3. Greenhouse gases
4. Reduction in fossil fuel use

For individuals, solar energy allows you to become completely self-sufficient when it comes to your electricity needs and can save you a lot of money in the long run.

What Are 3 Important Uses Of Solar Panels?

The three most important uses of solar panels are;
1. Solar electricity. This can be used to power almost any appliance in your home, including TVs, computers, and fridges.
2. Lighting. In addition to the use of low-power, LED lightbulbs, solar panels can provide an efficient, low-cost, and environmentally friendly way to provide lighting to homes. 
3. Portable solar. In our modern, always-connected lives, our phones, tablets, and computers are almost always with us, and all run on batteries. Portable PV chargers can help keep our batteries topped up no matter where we are, as long as there is some sun to charge them.

Do solar panels give you free electricity?

Once the cost of the array is paid in full, the energy it produces is free. There are ongoing maintenance costs, too, such as annual panel cleaning, etc. 

How much will my electric bill be with solar panels?

Suppose your solar array includes a solar battery backup system, and it is large enough to fully cover your energy usage per day. In that case, your monthly electric bill will be next to zero dollars, even with a grid-tied system. 

If your solar array does not include a solar battery backup system, then at night, your house or business will use grid electricity. That cost will vary but expect to pay from 1/3-2/3 of your average electric bill, and that cost will fluctuate seasonally. 

Do you save money with solar panels?

The simple answer is, Yes, you save money with solar panels. There is an initial upfront cost, but since solar panels are warrantied for 25 years, you will save money over time. You will also begin to see monthly savings in energy bills, but there are other ways that solar panels pay you back. Those include:
1. Adding value to your home or commercial building 
2. Monthly decreases in energy costs
3. The ability to add more energy appliances without increased monthly costs
4. The potential for tax credits for going solar

Can solar panels power a house 24-7?

Most definitely! Solar panels can certainly power a house 24-7, with the addition of a high-quality inverter and a suitable battery bank, of course. To power, a house under normal usage will require a massive solar array, though, and there will be a very expensive initial financial outlay.

Do I need to tell my energy supplier I have solar panels?

This depends on where you live, but in most cases, it’s not necessary to inform your energy supplier that you have solar panels. That said, you may be producing excess power with your solar system, in which case you may be able to sell that excess power back to energy companies.

In this case, you’ll naturally need to be in contact with them. 

What Are Solar Cells Known as and Why?

Solar cells are also called photovoltaic (PV) cells. They are called so because the term ‘photovoltaic’ literally means light i.e. photo and electricity i.e. voltaic.

These cells generate electricity through the photovoltaic effect. This effect basically causes the generation of free electrons from the semiconducting silicon material of the solar panel when sunlight hits its surface.

What Type of Solar Panels Are Most Efficient and Why?

There are currently three types of solar panels available in the market that are:
1. Monocrystalline
2. Polycrystalline
3. Thin-filmed

Among these, monocrystalline solar panels are known to be the most efficient among all others.

Does heat enter your home through the roof?

Absolutely. Heat enters your home through your roof, and on a hot day your attic can get up to 150 degrees Fahrenheit or more. Through conduction, heat from the sun warms your roof which then warms your attic and the rest of your home.

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