Solar panels have been installed on EVs like Hyundai’s Sonata Hybrid, but they can’t boost mileage much because of the small surface area. A typical semi-truck trailer, on the other hand, has the same surface as a medium-sized house. With that in mind, Volkswagen owned truck manufacturer Scania is covering a trailer with 1,507 square feet of solar cells to power one of its hybrid semi-tractors. The goal is to see how much fuel could be saved and whether it could be connected to the grid when not in use (via Autoblog).
Full testing has yet to begin, but Scania and its partner Ernst Express figure that the panels could generate about 14,000 kWh over the course of a year. That would be enough for a 5-10 percent fuel savings in Sweden, or double that in warmer regions like Spain.