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...Maybe mentioned or suggested before. What about having mounted solar panels on roof of Volt (or other battery-powered cars) to allow additional battery charging?
 

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Yes, it's been discussed. In short.

Small advantages....big disadvantages.
Once again MrBogey and I disagree. I think it will become standard equipment in the future. It's just too expensive to expect it to be on the base model because many people like MrBogey are not convinced of the advantages. It has been discussed extensively on this forum. Just search SOTS (solar on the surface). I would love it as a dealer or aftermarket option and would be willing to pay the extra costs. To me it adds more value than leather seats and a CD disc changer.
 

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It's not a sound decision in the least to spend 5k or more for an extra range of 3-5 miles when current fuel and electric prices make it impossible to ever recoup the extra cost.

Sure, when society collapses and you have the only vehicle that could possibly run, you'll have the last laugh... at about 5-8 miles every day. I don't see that as a serious strategy.
 

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It's not a sound decision in the least to spend 5k or more for an extra range of 3-5 miles when current fuel and electric prices make it impossible to ever recoup the extra cost.

Sure, when society collapses and you have the only vehicle that could possibly run, you'll have the last laugh... at about 5-8 miles every day. I don't see that as a serious strategy.


Again, for any reader that is interested in SOTS (solar on the surface) just hit the search key. Great discussions are there. There are around 7 threads with over 150 posts and over 6000 views. MrBogey is making one critical error. He believes people buy cars and options based only on the cost effectiveness of the system. What MrBogey doesn't put together is that there are many things consumers consider before buying a car and choosing options. It is about the value that consumer perceives. If that were not the case everyone would be driving a Geo Metro or some variant. It's cheap, gets great gas mileage and would fill the transportation needs of most of the population, at least the needs of their second car. This is clearly not the case. MrBogey, do you buy your suits and clothes based on what one has the lowest cost? Do you drive a Geo Metro? If you do then I understand where you are coming from. However, the majority of Americans do not act in such a manner. I hope you can agree to that. SOTS adds new and exciting functionality to the automobile. Check it out.


Warning: If you see the picture of the boat with SOTS you may be hooked for life.
 

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Most Americans won't spend several thousand extra just for a feature that gives them little benefit. Most Americans simply won't.
 

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Most Americans won't spend several thousand extra just for a feature that gives them little benefit. Most Americans simply won't.
Why don't we just wait and see what is offered as dealer option or aftermarket option and at what price. Then we can make a decision based on that, our location, our situation, etc. The price for such an option will continue to get cheaper every year.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I did a search on 'solar' before starting the thread - I was not patient enough to search thru all the posts. My bad. Will look thru those more carefully. I had a feeling it was not practical in the near future but thought as the technology becomes more efficient, less expensive, and lighter, it might be something to think about for the entire car surface in some sort of film-based application...

Sincerely,

Don
 

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Why don't we just wait and see what is offered as dealer option or aftermarket option and at what price. Then we can make a decision based on that, our location, our situation, etc. The price for such an option will continue to get cheaper every year.
And when it gets below 1k I'll probably grab it. I'll lose a little cash for the extra boost but I'm not buying a feature on a car that is not a great boost to enjoyment or operation when it'll hit me big time in the wallet.
 

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Will the PV cells on the top of the car be as robust as the vehicle's painted surfaces? What will happen when an errant basketball comes crashing down on them? What happens when the cat jumps up on them?

If the cells are too fragile, I'll skip them regardless of how useful they might otherwise be.
 

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Will the PV cells on the top of the car be as robust as the vehicle's painted surfaces? What will happen when an errant basketball comes crashing down on them? What happens when the cat jumps up on them?

If the cells are too fragile, I'll skip them regardless of how useful they might otherwise be.

I see by your picture that you're a scardy cat. ;) Does James Bond worry about a few bullet holes? No!
 

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I see by your picture that you're a scardy cat. ;) Does James Bond worry about a few bullet holes? No!
I don't think we all have the kind of money James Bond has, plus I think solar panels are likely more expensive to replace than the Bondo and paint Q uses to fix up Bond's cars.
 

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I'll pay for it. Probably as much as $5000.

My commute is exactly 41 miles each day. If I can do that with zero in the way of fuel, it would be worth it to me to pay more.

I also like the idea of people in hummers and expeditions looking down at the blinding shiny cells. Maybe they'll see the light.
 

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I'll pay for it. Probably as much as $5000.

My commute is exactly 41 miles each day. If I can do that with zero in the way of fuel, it would be worth it to me to pay more.

I also like the idea of people in hummers and expeditions looking down at the blinding shiny cells. Maybe they'll see the light.

They may be so angry because not only did gas reach $10 a gallon but they would be unable to cover the balance of their auto loan if they sold their beast that they would try to sue you for blinding them. ;)
 

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I see by your picture that you're a scardy cat. ;) Does James Bond worry about a few bullet holes? No!
Not scared, but merely pragmatic. Besides, James Bond doesn't pay for his own vehicles - I do.

For the roof-top solar cells to "fly", they need to pass the cost-benefit test - AND be reasonably robust. First, they must provide a reasonable amount of charging energy, not just enough to keep the clock running. As I said before: things happen - balls land on top of cars, chunks of ice fall from roofs, cats jump up and sun themselves, etc. If the solar cells can't survive in the real world, then they are not for me.
 

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I think its a great idea, I think they will make their way in on the Generation 2 as an (expensive) option. As the costs get reduced, it will become a viable option that people may consider.
 

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I sorta like the idea of my Volt sitting in my driveway on the weekends, plugged in, pumping a trickle of power into my home, offsetting the cost for my surfing the web by a teensy bit.
 

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