Humble Motors, a young Californian start-up, presents One. This electric SUV has a particularity: it runs on solar energy, thanks to a roof made of photovoltaic panel which supplies a small battery. Depending on the amount of sunshine, solar energy can offer a gain of autonomy of 16 to 100 kilometers per day in addition to the 800 kilometers offered by the traditional battery. Presentation.
Solar energy and the automobile are not mutually exclusive. Today, if you want to drive on solar energy, you “just” have to buy solar panels to cover your roof. The energy collected will be stored by rechargeable batteries on which you can then connect your car. This is particularly the case of this American family which adopted Tesla’s photovoltaic tiles. Ikea has also started to offer its own tiles in France.
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But what about real solar-powered cars, which charge on their own? We have relayed several experiments in our columns: the Aptera Motors model, endowed with an astonishing design, or the very small concept produced by the CEA and INES. These are just prototypes that never saw the light of day. A Californian start-up that certainly wants to follow in Tesla’s footsteps, presented a more realistic prototype a few days ago that partially works thanks to solar energy. The start-up is called Humble Motors. And the car is called One.
Solar autonomy of up to 100 kilometers per day
One is an electric SUV with modern lines that remind us of other SUVs. Its main feature is this roof entirely formed of a photovoltaic panel. This represents an area of 7.65 square meters. Note that other elements of the chassis can also capture solar energy. Thanks to this, the car stores energy all day long, which feeds a secondary battery. Depending on the sunshine, you will have an “additional” autonomy included between 16 and 100 kilometers.
“Additional”, because the One also incorporates a classic rechargeable battery that offers a range of 800 kilometers. In addition, the SUV offers an engine with a power of 1020 horsepower. So much for the few technical specifications. Humble Motors aims to transform the One prototype into a commercial model. The basic version will cost, according to initial estimates, will cost 109,000 dollars excluding taxes. This is a big budget. The manufacturer aims to start production in 2024 for a commercial launch in 2025.