Tesla’s latest move is a new feature for folks who’ve seriously bought into its ecosystem.
Tesla drivers with home solar and a Powerwall charger now have an in-app option to charge up their vehicle exclusively via excess solar energy.
The automaker started rolling out the setting in May, under a rather idyllic name: Drive on Sunshine. The setting is now more straightforwardly dubbed “Charge on Solar; it’s available to folks in the U.S. and Canada with newer Teslas (2021 and on).
The rise of electric vehicles and the ubiquity of solar panels has prompted countless people to suspect that the two technologies will converge.
The dream of the solar-powered car dates back at least to the 1950s with GM’s Sunmobile, a modded Corvette that reportedly captured enough solar energy to roll across the stage at a Chicago autoshow. Cars with solar roofs have come a long way since then (see: efforts by Lightyear, Fisker, Karma and even Tesla), but such vehicles still aren’t hitting roads in serious numbers yet.
In the meantime, Tesla has long facilitated solar-powered charging via home solar panels and chargers, and the automaker’s Charge on Solar feature seems to offer select drivers another degree of control over how they recharge.