Will it work on my bike, wheelchair, boat, mobility scooter, golf cart or other light electric vehicle?

  • We're working every day with electric mobility manufactures to ensure that our products will play nicely with their products.  If you have a vehicle that you are interested in charging with the sun, reach out to us and we'll let you know how and if we're progressing with them.  You can help us by reaching out to your vehicle manufacturer.  Let them know about us!

How long will it take to charge my battery?

  • Short answer? 2-10 hours.  Want to narrow that down a bit?  Read on!

  • Lots of different things can effect this answer: how bright the sunshine is, how big a panel you select and how big your battery is.  Check out our Learn About Solar and Learn About Batteries pages.  They will get you thinking like a solar power expert! 

  • Let's run through a basic example:

    • Let's say you have a Pedego Interceptor with the larger 15ah battery (amp hours).  ​Thats a 48v (volt) battery so lets figure out how many watt hours (wh) that is.  Remember, a watt hour is energy in the tank that you get to use later.  This part is easy!  15ah x 48v = 720wh.  Now batteries are funny little things.  They don't like being all they way discharged very much so you don't actually get to use all of those 720wh.  Only about 650wh.  Good thing that the battery and bike protect themselves from over discharging.  Just keep that 650wh number in your head for a second.  Now lets say you buy our 120w folder or DIY kit (yay!). Solar panels are also funny little things.  Their 120w rated power is under standard test conditions.  Imagine a cool clear very sunny day at noon.  In other words perfect conditions.  Your panel will almost never actually put out that much power.  It's ok!  We knew that when we designed all of this! Average day in the San Francisco Bay area where the sun is so-so most of the time, you will get about 70% of max power.  Nice day in Tucson AZ, around 85%. So that's around 100w of real power coming from the panel.  So for each hour your panel is in the sun you will get, you guessed it, 100wh of energy.  Remember that 650wh number from earlier?  Now you know how fast the energy is going in and how big the tank is!  650wh / 100w of power = 6.5 hours. 

Does it work when it's cloudy?

  • Well... sometimes!  While some kinds of clouds do block the light, but some thin high clouds just scatter the light around, so a cloudy day doesn't always mean you won't get any energy.  Our special cells and charge controller work together to optimize the charge even when it's cloudy.  Check out our Learn About Solar page.

How much farther can I go?

  • This one is a lot like the "how long will it take to charge my battery" question.  It depends on even more things like your speed, the weight of your vehicle and load, wind, tires and lots more.  Let's simplify it to seven steps: ​

    1. How far can you go now.  ___ Miles.  This will tell us a little about how well your current set up turns your battery charge into miles.

    2. How much energy is stored in your battery? _____ WH.   Easy, just multiply your battery's amp hours (AH) by its watts (W).  Your answer will be in watt hours (WH). Don't forget, you don't use all of this energy.  See "How long will it take to charge my battery above".  

    3. What's your efficiency? ______ (M/WH).  Now you know how far you can go (step one) and how much energy that takes (step two).  Divide the miles from step one, by the energy from step two.  Think of this number like Miles Per Gallon. Your answer will be in Miles per WH.

    4. Pick how big a solar panel you want to add. ______ W.   See the products page.  Remember to lower the max power depending on your environmental conditions, see "How long will it take to charge my battery above"

    5. How many hours will that panel be in the sun with your battery each day? _____ H

    6. How much energy will that make per day? _____ WH.  Multiply your power in Watts from step 4 by your Hours in the sun from step 5 and you've got how much energy you will get in a day.  Your answer will be in watt hours (WH).  Also remember, if your battery is full, those hours in the sun don't count!  Get out there and get some miles in before the sun is high in the sky!

    7. How much farther can I go in a day? _____ M.  Divide your efficiency from step 3 (M/WH) by your energy from step six (WH) and you will get how many miles your solar panel should add per day!

  • Clear as mud?  Get in touch, we'll walk you through it and give some great real world examples.

Can I put one on my Tesla?

  • Electric cars are great!  We should all be driving them.  The difference with electric cars is they are really big, really heavy and they go really fast.  All of these things take more energy that we can get for practical use out of the area on the roof.  About 10x the amount of energy it takes a bike to go the same distance.  So the short answer is yes you can, but you're only going to get a few miles per day from a car covered in solar panels.  

Will this save the planet?

  • Absolutely!  To say nothing of how great it is to ride your bike and get one more car off the road.  Remember, you don't hate traffic, you are traffic!