As the world shifts towards sustainable energy sources, solar power is playing an increasingly important role in the future of electric vehicle (EV) charging. With the automotive industry focusing on reducing vehicle emissions and embracing innovative technologies, solar power is becoming a key component in the development and application of electric vehicles.

Solar-Powered Vehicles: A Growing Trend

Over 1.2 million patents have been filed and granted in the automotive industry in the last three years alone, with more than 290 innovation areas shaping the future of the industry. One of these areas is solar-powered vehicles, which are electric vehicles that utilize self-contained solar cells to power themselves fully or partially from sunlight. Currently, over 100 companies are engaged in the development and application of solar-powered vehicles, including industry giants such as Toyota, Hyundai, Ford, Husqvarna, and Panasonic.

Integrating Solar Power into Electric Vehicles

One example of solar power integration in electric vehicles is the 2023 Toyota Prius, which offers optional solar-powered roof panels that can generate electricity equivalent to 1,800km of driving distance per year. This innovative approach not only reduces the need for traditional charging methods but also contributes to the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

Solar Power in Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure

Beyond vehicle integration, solar power is also being incorporated into electric vehicle charging infrastructure. An example of this is the Roam Hub, a multi-purpose electric motorcycle charging station launched in Nairobi. Designed to meet the demands of boda-boda operators, the Roam Hub charging stations are strategically located at the heart of busy urban areas and are equipped with fast chargers capable of charging the Roam Air electric motorcycle in less than an hour. These stations are also partly powered by solar energy and offer battery rental services, battery charging, and after-sales services.

The Future of Solar Power in Electric Vehicle Charging

As the electric vehicle market continues to grow, the role of solar power in EV charging is expected to expand further. The integration of solar power into vehicles and charging infrastructure not only reduces the reliance on traditional energy sources but also
contributes to a greener and more sustainable future. With continuous advancements in solar technology and increasing adoption of electric vehicles, solar power is set to play a pivotal role in the future of electric vehicle charging.