Electric vehicles do not produce emissions. However, what if you can combine solar panels with electric vehicles? This will reduce dependence on electricity that might come from emission-producing power plants for charging.
This is the fourth part of our series of articles on solar electric vehicles (SEVs). Here, we look at the EF1-T and ET1-V.
China-based SPI Energy was founded in 2016 and has announced it plans to launch a pair of SEVs. The company will use the same chassis and platform for the EF1-T and EF1-V, a pickup truck and van. This is reminiscent of Rivian's strategy with its R1T electric pickup truck and R1S electric SUV.
For the EF1-T, SPI Energy is hailing it as a robust and modern multi-purpose truck for work, travel, or personal use. It will handle varying road and environmental conditions, making it a rugged city and outback vehicle.
In appearance, SPI has chosen an unusual shape, although it is somehow not as radical and polarizing as Tesla's Cybertruck. But the EF1-T will surely command attention everywhere it goes.
The highlight of the electric pickup truck is the solar panels on the back that can be pulled to cover the bed, meaning it is pulling double duty by producing electricity from the sun and protecting the content of the truck bed. The panels harvest energy whether the truck is stationary or not. There is no info yet on how many miles the panels can add to the driving range.
The EF1-T is offered in different trims, each with a different driving range. According to the EPA, the lowest trim, Standard, goes from 0 to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds and lasts 300 miles. The premium cuts the acceleration time down to 4.5 seconds and has a 380-mile range. There is a mention of a third trim, Super, on the company's website, but no info is provided.
SPI has replaced the side mirrors with cameras, noting they make the truck look sleek. There is another camera mounted on the tailgate at the back for use when reversing.
Inside, a giant 17.5-inch center console for accessing controls is augmented by a 7-inch on each pillar for seeing the truck's surroundings through cameras. Other bits of lighting adorn the interior.
The EF1-V van looks like a creative artiste adapted the truck into a van. It has sliding doors on both sides for easy access, with another one at the back. Similar to the truck, the van has its own solar panels on the roof. Details about the range are not available yet.
You will be able to choose between 260 and 400 cubic feet of cargo spaces and single and dual-motor.