BMW intends to use solar glass to charge the car’s batteries while the sun shines on them.
In this electric era, car manufacturers are focusing on two issues: firstly, offering great autonomy in their electric cars, and secondly, the price of their electric vehicles.
In reality, these two issues are closely related, since a longer range in an electric car means a higher cost and vice versa, so manufacturers are trying to solve both problems.
BMW has recently patented a solar charging technology, which is actually solar glass to be installed in cars, replacing the current windows. The new glass actually has two functions, one is to capture the sun’s energy, which is used to charge the battery, and the other is to protect the interior of the car from the sun’s harmful rays.
The patent has been registered at the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA) and can certainly be considered as a great option to gain a few extra kilometres either when driving or simply when the car is parked on the street.
The system is very similar to the proposal of the Sono Sion or Lightyear 0, solar electric cars which are covered with solar panels along the bodywork, although in the case of the BMW it goes further because instead of being installed on the bodywork , the conventional car windows are replaced by solar glass, so that the aesthetics of the vehicle are not affected.
According to the patent filed by BMW, the front windscreen will be covered by a very thin layer of solar modules allowing a 95 per cent view, thus not impeding the driver’s vision.
The side windows and possible sunroof will be covered by thicker layers, in this case the transparency will be set between 50% and 80% but in return they will be able to absorb more solar energy.
Although the project looks promising, BMW has to face something that happens in all new technology, the cost. At the moment the cost of applying this solution in cars is really high, which would affect the final selling price, which would be exorbitant.
Therefore BMW will continue to investigate this way in the search for lower manufacturing costs without being harmed by obtaining solar energy but certainly this application seems to us the most optimal, don’t you think?
Other manufacturers such as Tesla have previously considered installing solar panels on the roofs of their cars, but the idea has been dismissed as the cost is too high for the benefit to be achieved.
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