China’s new solar EVs have range of up to 724 kilometres

Chinese automaker EdisonFuture, a subsidiary of renewable energy firm SPI Energy. In 2020, the Chinese company SPI Energy expanded its presence in the United States, and also acquired a full stake in the US company Phoenix Motorcars, creating the EdisonFuture startup.

EdisonFuture has just released its new range of Solar Electric Vehicles at the Los Angeles Auto Show in the US, after revealing the EF1-T, its first electric pickup with a retractable solar panel roof last month. Now, the firm has shown off a solar-powered delivery van called the EF1-V, and also provided more information on its EF1-T pickup truck.

China's New Solar EVs Boast Up to 450 Miles of Range
The EF1-V EdisonFuture

A ‘modern multi-purpose van’

On its website, EdisonFuture describes the EF1-V as a “modern multi-purpose van for work, travel, family or personal use in varying road and environment conditions from city streets to off-road.” The delivery van will be available in different cargo iterations, depending on the space required, ranging from 7.3–11.3 cubic meters of cargo space. 

The EF1-V also comes with two powertrain options, the Standard single motor version, and the Long Range dual-motor version. The delivery van also has the same towing capacity as EdisonFuture’s EF1-T pickup truck, allowing it to tow between 3,402 kg to 4,990 kg depending on the version.

Solar panels can vastly improve range over long periods

The EF1-T electric solar pickup truck features a solar panel roof, with the option for extra retractable panels to cover the bed of the truck. The EF1-T will come in three different iterations — the Standard single motor, Premium dual motor, and Super tri-motor versions. The Standard will offer 483 km of range, the Premium 611 km, and the Super 724 km.

Several companies are touting a future of solar electric vehicles (SEVs). The extra freedom afforded by solar roof options may just be what the automotive industry needs to incentivize consumers to go electric, as countries continue to plan for a future without internal combustion engine cars. 

SOURCE: Interesting Engineering [extract], Nov 22, 2021.