An experiment with a solar-powered Tesla Model 3 has found it can take almost two weeks to fully recharge an electric car using power from the sun. 
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A YouTube star has attempted to recharge a Tesla Model 3 electric car using only the power of the sun.

The channel ItsYeBoi rigged up a trailer and fitted it with eight solar panels.

Although the trailer was not properly attached to the Tesla Model 3 – the neck appeared to be resting on top of a spare tyre in the boot, as the car was driven slowly around a parking lot – the experiment aimed to find out if solar power could provide an endless source of energy to an electric car.

To save you watching the 14-minute video, the short answer is: no.

The massive trailer and solar power rig was able to make an instant coffee every three minutes, and had enough grunt to charge the host’s phone.

Charging the car would take a little longer, ItsYeBoi explained.

Unfortunately, the test was conducted on a cloudy day, which also didn’t help.

However, based on calculations by ItsYeBoi, for every hour of pure sunlight he was able to partially charge his Tesla Model 3 for about 30 minutes.

Fully recharging his Tesla Model 3 from empty using a household power socket takes 30 to 40 hours, he estimated.

But recharging the car using only his solar powered trailer, he estimated it would take at least 80 hours of pure sunshine or 100 hours of cloudy weather.

Based on a calculation of 10 hours per day of sunlight or cloud cover, ItsYeBoi estimated he would need at least 10 full days to fully recharge his Tesla Model 3.

As for recharging while on the move, that’s not currently possible because the Tesla power socket only works when the vehicle is stopped.

But as solar power technology improves, who knows what’s possible in the future.

For now, though, the closest we’ve had to solar power in a production car are the solar panels in the sunroof of the previous generation Toyota Prius, which was used to top up the energy supply to the vehicle’s air-conditioning and other cabin controls.

In the meantime, the full video by ItsYeBoi is at the bottom of this story so you can see the experiment for yourself.