Uppsala University has entered into partnerships with Eksjö Maskin & Truck, Midsummer, Ernsts Express, Dalakraft, and Scania to collaborate on the development of lightweight solar panels that can be installed on trucks to harness renewable energy. The primary objective of this project is to decrease operational expenses, minimize emissions, and establish a sustainable transportation system.
The solar-powered truck’s trial version features a generous solar battery area of 100 m2, enabling the vehicle to cover a distance of 5,000 km without the need for any charging stops.
The test truck comes with a powerful engine, boasting 560 horsepower. It is accompanied by an 18-meter long trailer and is equipped with solar panels that have a maximum capacity of 13.2kW, covering an area of 100m2. The solar panels utilize cutting-edge perovskite materials that are both lightweight and efficient. In Sweden, they can generate approximately 8,000 kWh of electricity annually. Additionally, the vehicle is fitted with a battery pack that holds 300kWh of energy. Out of this capacity, 100kWh is allocated for the tractor, while the remaining 200kWh powers the trailer.
Testing reveals that despite Sweden’s weather limitations and tangential issues, solar power continues to significantly enhance truck performance, enabling them to travel up to an extra 5,000km per year. This finding has led the research team to anticipate even greater benefits for countries with more sunshine hours. For instance, in equatorial regions, where energy levels are twice as high, solar-powered trucks can travel an additional 10,000 km without the need for charging stops.