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Drive the power of the sun

Drive the power of the sun, feed your car homemade electricity

Driving an e-car that runs on photovoltaic power sounds attractive. But is it possible to flexibly use a vehicle that is charged with electricity from a domestic solar system during the day? Drive the power of the sun, feed your car homemade electricity.

Photovoltaics is growing rapidly

When it comes to the use of photovoltaics, Switzerland is in a top position. In Switzerland photovoltaics already cover 5% of the country’s electricity consumption. And it is growing rapidly. There is also strong growth in electromobility. By the end of 2021 70’223 purely electric vehicles drove on Swiss roads, plus an additional 201,334 normal and plug-in-hybrids. Martin Raubal, Professor of Geoinformation Engineering at ETH Zurich welcomes the development: «The mobility sector is responsible for around a third of CO 2 emissions in Switzerland. Electromobility is one way to reduce CO 2 emissions from traffic.»

Drive the power of the sun: EV and solar go together

A research team led by Martin Raubal has brought together the growth of photovoltaics and electromobility. Their question was: «Can e-car owners charge their vehicles with electricity from their own solar system without having to limit their use of the car?» Many people take a critical view of charging with PV electricity: «How should I use my e-car if it has to be charged during the day when the sun is shining?” is a common opinion. The study by the ETH researchers does not confirm this skepticism, on the contrary: «Our results show that owners can use their e-cars without any particular restrictions and at the same time charge them to a considerable extent with their own solar power. And this without intermediate storage,» says Henry Martin, summarizing the main result of the study.

Martin is a doctoral student at the Institute for Cartography and Geoinformation at ETH Zurich and does research at the Institute of Advanced Research in Artificial Intelligence (IARAI) in Vienna. The study by the ETH scientists has just been published in the renowned specialist publication ScienceDirect (direct download here).

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