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

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.

See also: Solar Powered Vehicles: A Comprehensive Guide to the Future of Transportation

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

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] This 200 watt solar panel guaranteed positive output tolerance (0-3%); withstands high winds (2400Pa) and snow...
  • [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 0-80%...
  • [Power A Wide Range Of Appliances]: With a built-in 600W inverter, the RIVER Pro can power some devices up to 1800W with the...

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 Ports 28W Solar Charger(5V/4.8A Max), Portable SunPower Solar Panel 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.


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Elliot has 20+ years of experience in renewable technology, from conservation to efficient living. His passion is to help others achieve independent off-grid living.

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