Australian scientists to equip Tesla with printed solar panels in 15,000km test

The Charge Around Australia project will power a Tesla electric car with 18 of the team’s printed plastic solar panels, each 18 meters (59ft) long, by deploying them alongside the vehicle to absorb sunlight when it needs a charge.

Paul Dastoor, the inventor of the printed solar panels, said the Newcastle University team would not only test the panels’ endurance but also their potential performance for other applications.

“It’s actually a perfect test bed to give us insight into how we would use and power technology in other remote places, for example in space,” Dastoor told Reuters in the city. of Gosforth, north of Sydney.

Printed solar is a lightweight, laminated PET plastic that can be manufactured at a cost of less than $10 per square meter.

The signs are made on a commercial printer originally used for printing wine labels.

Dastoor said using the panels to power a car would make Australians think more about electric vehicles and could help ease their “range anxiety”.

“(The) community is looking for these kinds of answers to the issues that are presented to them, day in and day out, around climate change,” he said.

During their 84-day Tesla journey, the team plans to visit around 70 schools to give students a taste of what the future may hold.

Asked what Elon Musk, creator of the Tesla car and founder of Tesla Inc TSLA.O, might say about the CAA project, Dastoor said he hoped he would be satisfied.

CAA “showed how our innovative technology now combines with its developments to develop new solutions for the planet,” Dastoor said.