Starlink-equipped Tesla car trailer showcases mobile solar power
Elon Musk decided to combine three of his signature products - Starlink connectivity, the Tesla brand, and solar power - in a trailer that Tesla showcased during the IdeenExpo in Hannover, Germany. The Tesla trailer sports solar panels that double as a range extender when unfurled, though their output wasn't exactly advertised and it doesn't seem like it would amount to much anyway.
The trailer came equipped with a Starlink Kit, though, so the solar power may have been destined to provide Internet connectivity on the go, rather than serve as a puny range extender that would require days on end to get you to the next Supercharger. At the IdeenExpo, Tesla also brought a Model Y that was cut out to demonstrate its new 4680 battery pack but the trailer was the star of the Hannover show.
Recently, SpaceX was given the green light to provide Starlink satellite Internet connectivity in moving vehicles, but the solar power-equipped trailer has to have its panels deployed first, so the whole contraption is most likely just a proof of concept. Back in the spring, a team of UK and Australian engineers started planning a coastal trip around the continent Down Under by charging a Tesla with cheap printable solar panels made from laminated PET plastic.
It takes 18 of those, each 60 feet in length, to charge the Model 3 that will be doing the trip around Australia, so the smallish solar trailer that Tesla showcased can hardly be called a range extender. Tesla has been known to provide ample opportunities as an engineering playground, though, and ideas like this purpose-built IdeenExpo contraption can only elevate its profile in that respect. It's not clear when or if the trailer will make it out of the prototype stage, but Tesla may decide to lug it around to other creative gatherings and unveil more about its ultimate purpose at some point.
Tesla is at the "IdeenExpo" in Hannover.— Tesla_Adri (@tesla_adri) July 4, 2022
They brought a solar range extender trailer with Starlink.
And a Model Y with the 4680 structural battery pack.
Next to the Tesla stand is the VW stand. There are apparently more VW employees at the Tesla stand than Tesla employees. pic.twitter.com/8IHxLI5ukW