Some articles have called the Mercedes G Vision concept car an SUV, but its more like a crossover vehicle. Apparently, it can come in an all electric version or a hybrid. The main thing that jumps out about it is a solar paint job. Light sensitive nanoparticles are being researched for their potential to generate electricity when they are included in paint and ink.
It isn’t clear how much electricity a car with solar-powered surfaces could generate, but at this point, it probably wouldn’t be much. The value of a concept car is that it represents potential, not what can be made right now.
Generating a lot of electricity from solar paint isn’t going to happen in the next several years, but it might help top off an EV battery some day. If you drove far enough to consume 10 or 20% of a battery charge and there wasn’t a charger nearby, perhaps the solar paint would help restore the battery to a full level. Even that might be wishful thinking, but imagining and modeling such a future is perfectly acceptable.
Some devices used in science fiction came to exist in reality a number of years later. A concept car is not science fiction, it is a deliberate exploration, a model of how various new technologies might work together in one vehicle.
The Chevy Volt concept car might have seemed peculiar at first, but today many Chevy Volts are driving successfully around the world. In fact, they have already collectively driven over one billion miles.
Any hybrid concept might have seemed weird, but it shouldn’t have because the first hybrid came out well over one hundred years ago. Ferdinand Porsche was the creator. If these facts seem irrelevant, consider that Porsche was hired by none other than Mercedes as a car designer.
So, it makes perfect sense to try to utilize the surface of hood, trunk and quarter panel areas to employ solar power. Cars often sit out in the sun and could be employed as solar collectors. It isn’t clear how long a solar power paint job would last. Fresh coats might need to be added every couple of years, but if that was possible it wouldn’t take much to renew a car’s solar power capacity.
Image Credit: Mercedes