A Tesla Model 3 off-grid charging range is to be tested with printed solar panels around Australia
Recently, Tesla Australia started putting charging time limits at its most popular Supercharger locations, as the country is experiencing unprecedented growth in the number of new electric vehicles. While the waiting list for new Teslas in Australia is long, the charging infrastructure leaves something to be desired still. As if to prove that Australians can drive a Tesla and be independent when it comes to charging on the sun-splashed continent, the scientists and engineers from the Charge Australia project are embarking on a cross-country trip with a Model 3 powered by printed solar panels in September.
It's rather an around-country trip, as they will try to cover the whole 9,380-miles (15,100 kilometres) long coast of Australia with a Tesla running solely on the power of the sun. The undertaking is "a partnership between the UK company Charging Around Britain Ltd and the University of Newcastle, Australia," says the organization, and the inventor of the printed solar panels Paul Dastoor from the university aims to test them for use in various applications, including space travel. The solar panels made of laminated PET plastic can be printed on a retail printer used for, say, wine labels, and cost just A$10 per square meter.
The team will be unrolling 18 such panels, each about 60 feet (18m) long when unfurled, to charge the Tesla Model 3 during the trip that is expected to take about three months in total. Thus, we should be hearing about the success or failure of the project around the beginning of local summer in December. Paul Dastoor is hoping that Tesla's CEO Elon Musk himself might notice the effort, as Charge Australia is "showing how our innovative technology is now combining with his developments to develop new solutions for the planet."