It’s bad for business to leave energy on the table, particularly in the rapidly changing transportation industry. A creative academic-industry project in Sweden is looking to the sun for solutions as the globe struggles to reduce emissions and work toward a sustainable future. A solar-powered hybrid truck with a potential annual range of 3,000 to 6,000 miles has been developed through a partnership between Uppsala University, Eksjö Maskin & Truck, Midsummer, Ernsts Express, Dalakraft, and Scania.
At the heart of this groundbreaking project is the exploration of harnessing solar energy from the vast surface area of trucks. The initial prototype boasts an impressive 18-meter trailer blanketed with 100 square meters of solar panels, equivalent to the solar-surface area of an average house equipped with potent 13.2-kilowatt-peak panels.
What sets this truck apart is its utilization of lightweight tandem solar cells, a blend of Midsummer’s solar cells and cutting-edge perovskite solar cells. Operating in Sweden, this hybrid marvel generates an estimated 8,000 kWh of energy annually, thanks to its 300 kWh battery capacity split between the truck and the trailer. Despite Sweden’s comparatively limited sun exposure, the truck’s solar contribution extends its driving range to up to 3,100 miles annually.
Countries with more abundant sunshine, particularly those near the equator, stand to reap even greater benefits. Researchers anticipate that sun-drenched regions could see an astounding additional 6,200 miles of free travel per year, doubling the already impressive mileage.
This innovative solar-powered vehicle is the result of research that Vinnova, Sweden’s innovation agency, kindly financed. It serves as an example of how solar energy has the ability to completely transform the transportation sector by cutting prices, lowering carbon emissions, and promoting environmentally friendly transportation.
Initiatives like this Swedish solar-powered hybrid truck represent a huge advancement as the globe continues to struggle with climate change and looks for creative answers for more sustainable living. By utilizing solar energy, we can not only move toward greener and cleaner forms of transportation but also drastically lower our carbon footprint and help create a future that is more sustainable and bright.