Most Tesla owners have been asked, what if you run out of charge? Of course, everyone who drives with the T emblem on the hood knows it takes poor planning or pushing the limits to run out of energy in a Tesla.
Barring a catastrophic failure, the only reason a Tesla would lose its charge is if the driver ignored every warning, drove past every available charging station, and kept the pedal down until every drop was depleted from the battery. Nevertheless, the question remains, and some people are working on coming up with tangible solutions.
In September, a group called Charge Around Australia plans a long road trip without gas or spending a dime on electricity. The plan is to take a Model 3 9,380 miles (15,097 km) around the entire coastline of the Land Down Under to some of the most remote places on the planet. They will carry 18 lightweight, flexible printed plastic solar panels, which will be rolled up and stored in the trunk. They will roll out the panels for six hours daily to draw energy directly from the sun and charge up the Tesla.
These panels, produced using a wine label printer, pack a lot of power. In testing, the solar cells can produce approximately 20W/m2 in full sun conditions. However, production modules are projected to produce up to 50W/m2, with a 200 m2 installation producing around 60 kWh energy. That is enough to charge the Tesla for about two days of the trip or more than a week of typical commuting.
Professor Paul Dastoor, the Charge Around Australia lead, told Reuters he wants the creator of Tesla to find out about the project. “I hope if he finds out about it and Elon Musk will be very pleased, showing how our innovated technology is now combining with his developments to develop new solutions for the planet,” said Dastoor.
While certainly not as sleek as the printed solar panels, Daniel Derkacs posted a video (shown above) showing his mobile solar charging set up. His PV provides 1.2 kW of solar power. He installed six 175-watt panels on a bike rack on the back of his Model Y and two more panels on his roof. The system feeds to the trunk, where a battery and inverter are installed.
The comment section was not kind to Derkacs, who did a follow-up video addressing some negative feedback. He stressed that this system is for his daily commute and is not for long trips.
Derkacs' Response to Comments
These are two examples of people looking to get off the grid and power their Tesla directly from the sun and provide a different answer to the question, what will you do if you run out of power.
Happy Birthday to Tesla’s Model 3. It’s hard to believe that five years ago, just 30 Model 3’s had rolled off the assembly line and been delivered. Now Tesla’s answer to a more affordable vehicle is the best-selling electric vehicle in the world, has been named car of the year, is considered one of the safest vehicles on the planet and has a long waiting list of eager buyers.
It’s a birthday, so we should reminisce about the early days. While this iconic car first appeared on the road in 2017, it was on Elon Musk’s to-do list for over a decade.
Elon Musk talks to Wired Science about the Model 3 in 2006
Years later, as it became more of a reality, the car was given the code name BlueStar. It was to be named the Model E, but Ford had already trademarked the wording. Then Musk turned the E into a 3, but he didn’t want the number; he envisioned 3 lines, similar to the current E in Tesla. But Adidas quashed that, arguing it was too close to that brand’s three stripes. So that’s how the 3 was named.
@awadsayeed Yes. Technically Model 3 or maybe three horizontal bars. Won't be three vertical bars.
The Model 3 was supposed to be the smaller, stripped-down version of the Model S to invite more buyers into Tesla and EVs. However, this more affordable, entry-level Tesla holds its own against luxury sedans and even its big sister, the Model S. Tesla has been rolling out several updates throughout the Model 3’s existence, allowing the vehicles to keep up and even pass the Joneses.
In 2019 the Model 3 received a significant software boost when the beta versions of Navigate on Autopilot and Smart Summon were added. Voice commands, a voice keyboard and new language supports were also implemented along with the popular Camp Mode. Once owners posted photos and videos of comfortable beds in the Model 3 with the backseat down, Tesla had to add climate control and a camp fire to complete the experience.
Tesla introduced Dog Mode in Teslas in 2019. In fact, the manufacturer used a Model 3 to unveil the feature to the world. With the help of a sleepy Husky and an excited German Shepherd, Dog Mode was demonstrated to the world on all of Tesla’s social media channels. This made Tesla a must-have for any dog lover!
Also included with the Model 3 in late 2019 and early 2020 was Sentry Mode. This all-encompassing security system records and notifies the owner if anything is happening around or to the Tesla. It’s arguably the most advanced stock vehicle alarm system on the market.
In 2020 the Tesla Toybox was overhauled and updated in all Model 3s. Emissions, sketchpad and many more favorites were revised and made even more fun. But it wasn’t just the games that have been updated; although plenty of games were added over time, Tesla improved it’s maps and dashcam. Later in the year, the Beta version of Full Self Driving was added to all Teslas, including the Model 3. While FSD is still a work in progress, for the system to be available in even the entry-level Model 3 was a big attraction.
A crowd pleaser is the Boombox. This was another addition in 2020 to all models. With the car in park, the boombox blasts music or sound effects through an external speaker. You can even add your own sounds through a USB drive. Perhaps the Boombox should be used by all Model 3 owners to wish their Tesla a happy 5th Birthday!
Elon Musk mentioned that Tesla could announce a new factory location later this year at Tesla’s annual shareholder meeting.
During his speech at the shareholder meeting, Elon talked in detail about Tesla's newly opened factories: Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg and Gigafactory Texas.
During the meeting Elon said that Tesla "might be able to announce another factory location later this year." When Elon asked where the next Gigafactory should be, the crowd shouted out various locations. Elon then said:
"We get a lot of Canada. I am half Canadian, maybe I should?"
This is not the first time Elon hinted that Canada could be home to the next gigafactory.
During an employee meeting in June, Elon confirmed that the company was looking at a new site in North America. During the Q and A, an employee asked a question about the location of the next American Gigafactory.
Musk noted that the company had not confirmed the location, but he said it may not necessarily be in the United States:
"We are looking at sites, but we are considering some site options more broadly in North America, so including Canada and Mexico, and the US as well."
At the shareholder meeting, Elon told investors that Tesla's next Gigafactory will be one of 10-12 factories the company is planning.
"Ultimately, we'll end up building probably at least 10 or 12 Gigafactories and they will be really big Gigafactories aiming for an average output of 1.5 to 2 million units per factory, which is enormous."
If Canada is home to the next Gigafactory, it would most likely be located somewhere in Ontario's "Golden Horseshoe", Canada's most populated and economically productive region. Alberta could also be a good option considering it has favorable business regulations, cheaper energy costs, including Canada's best solar and wind potential, and its proximity to lithium resources.
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