With the world moving towards total electrification, automakers are coming up with innovative ways to increase battery sizes to maximise range. While some focus on bettering the basics, there are others who take risks. The recent move by Tata Motors in this regard is the latest example of the latter.
As per a report by Financial Express, the Indian manufacturer is looking into rooftop charging, similar to what we’ve seen on Tesla models and the upcoming Mercedes-Benz EQXX. Tata Motors, which holds a lion’s share in the EV market is talking to its group company Tata Powers for providing charging solutions to customers who don’t want to be tied down on grid power. According to the same report, the cost of installation of a solar charger on the rooftop of an EV could cost around Rs 3 lakh to Rs 4 lakh.
As we mentioned earlier, this isn’t the first time manufacturers are tinkering with the idea. Swedish manufacturer Volvo has tied up with a solar power company to employ a similar type of technology for its EVs. German automaker, Mercedes-Benz, showcased its upcoming offering the EQXX, which claims to offer a 1000km range on a single charge, partly aided by rooftop charging.
In an interview, Shailesh Chandra, managing director, Tata Passenger Electric Mobility (TPEML) said, “For somebody who is thinking of multiple EVs for the long term, having a solar rooftop charging solution will make sense for him. We have been discussing this with Tata Power and we are actively looking at it.”
It should be noted that Tata Power currently holds the rank of being one of the country’s biggest solar power companies, installing different classes of EV infrastructure across the country. While the technology does make an interesting case, its feasibility remains a big concern. For instance, the EQXX’s solar grid only adds 25km of extra range to its already existing range of more than 1200km in its current state. It now remains to be seen if the folks at Tata come up with an innovative solution to bump up its usability.
All Image Credits: Tata Motors