Automotive

Humble Motors presents a 1,020-hp SUV with 80 square feet of solar roof

Humble Motors presents a 1,020...
This fierce, nuggety SUV rocks 1,020 horsepower and the ability to solar-charge itself
This fierce, nuggety SUV rocks 1,020 horsepower and the ability to solar-charge itself
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This fierce, nuggety SUV rocks 1,020 horsepower and the ability to solar-charge itself
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This fierce, nuggety SUV rocks 1,020 horsepower and the ability to solar-charge itself
The Humble One promises a drag coefficient of 0.25
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The Humble One promises a drag coefficient of 0.25
"Mister Murgatroyd, we're stuck in the desert with no chargers and the car's at 0% power!" "Fear not, fair Penelope, for this is a Humble One. I shall fold out the solar panels and have us at fifteen percent by sundown."
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"Mister Murgatroyd, we're stuck in the desert with no chargers and the car's at 0% power!" "Fear not, fair Penelope, for this is a Humble One. I shall fold out the solar panels and have us at fifteen percent by sundown."
1,020 horsepower is enough to get most hearts started
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1,020 horsepower is enough to get most hearts started
That sure ain't 80 square feet of panels. Probably more like 40, so the rest is going to have to fold out
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That sure ain't 80 square feet of panels. Probably more like 40, so the rest is gonna have to fold out
The Humble One driving at night, harvesting nothing at all
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The Humble One driving at night, harvesting nothing at all
Humble Motors says the One will go into production in 2024.
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Humble Motors says the One will go into production in 2024.
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Another Californian EV startup has unveiled an electric concept SUV – but this time, it's built to do between 10-60 miles (16-96 km) per day on pure sunlight. The Humble One will rock more than 80 square feet of solar panels to self-charge even when unplugged.

This thing really looks like more of a crossover, or even an oversized hot hatch, than an SUV – just a tad longer than a Corolla, it has only four seats, and no pretensions toward serious off-roading. It won't need to go bush-bashing to show you a good time, though; horsepower maxes out at 1,020 ponies, which is more than enough to sizzle most drivers' sausages just fine.

At around 4,000 lb (1,814 kg), the Humble One is some 766 lb (348 kg) lighter than Tesla's Model S Plaid, while putting out the same kind of power and claiming 500 miles of range against the Tesla's 390 miles. That strikes us as a tad fishy, but let's press on; those kinds of figures would appear to promise a 0-60 mph (0-96 km/h) time even quicker than the Tesla's 1.99 seconds.

That sure ain't 80 square feet of panels. Probably more like 40, so the rest is going to have to fold out
That sure ain't 80 square feet of panels. Probably more like 40, so the rest is gonna have to fold out

We'll believe that when we see it. It's inconsequential, anyway. The interesting bit here is the roof, with its "80 square feet of highly efficient and patent-pending solar cells on the roof, sidelites, passenger doors, and fold-out 'wings'." None of the promo renders seem to show anything more than roof panels, and we're certainly interested to see just how awkward it looks with its wings folded out.

The roof itself looks like about 6 x 8 ft or so, making a generous guess, and that would give you about half of 80 sq ft, so yeah, this car is going to look vastly different and take up a fair bit of space when it's parked with all its panels out.

But therein lies the reason why mainstream EVs don't bother with solar; if you need that much area just to capture an outside maximum of 60 miles' worth of range per day, it's going to be a challenge to mount those panels in a way that's attractive, secure, convenient and sturdy.

"Mister Murgatroyd, we're stuck in the desert with no chargers and the car's at 0% power!" "Fear not, fair Penelope, for this is a Humble One. I shall fold out the solar panels and have us at fifteen percent by sundown."
"Mister Murgatroyd, we're stuck in the desert with no chargers and the car's at 0% power!" "Fear not, fair Penelope, for this is a Humble One. I shall fold out the solar panels and have us at fifteen percent by sundown."

On the other hand, solar could knock off most people's commuting miles on at least some days, saving you a couple bucks in electricity a day and giving you an out for all those times when you're in the deep desert and you run your battery flat and can't find a charger.

It's a neat looking machine in these renders, and Humble Motors says it's already sold more than US$20 million worth at a price of US$109,000 excluding taxes and options. The company says it's planning to hit production at the start of 2024.

Again, we'll believe all this when we see the thing; it's one thing to make some renders, another thing altogether to get a prototype built, another thing yet to get a car into volume production ... And then there's that fold-out solar system, which we imagine could throw all kinds of spanners into all kinds of works. But nobody gets anywhere without ambition, and ambition is certainly in evidence here. We wish the team a smooth ride to production, with just enough speed bumps to build character and make for a riveting memoir.

Source: Humble Motors

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11 comments
11 comments
ChairmanLMAO
What the heck?!? Now, all the cool nice looking cars are electric? This is another car I would like in ICE version.
DavidB
No worries, @ChairmanLMAO. You can still grab a gas-guzzler...for a few more years, anyway, during which time you can strike oil in your back garden and learn how to turn it into gasoline.
ljaques
42. Yessiree, that vast amount of solar roofing will power that car for a whopping 42 microseconds. Or it can recharge the low battery in 6-8 weeks, your choice! Sizzle them snausages, Bumble Motors, or was that Humboldt? By 2024, that $109k will have risen to $200k, methinks.
Signguy
Lots of promises...
BlueOak
"the Humble One is some 766 lb (348 kg) lighter than Tesla's Model S Plaid, while putting out the same kind of power and claiming 500 miles of range against the Tesla's 390 miles. That strikes us as a tad fishy"

Indeed - that's the kind of no BS writing we love at New Atlas!

Theres a reason nobody has seriously put solar panels on the roof of an electric vehicle. It produces a trivial amount of charging capacity at current solar panel efficiences on the limited surface of a vehicle. And even if solar panel technology doubled in efficiency, it would remain a fool's errand.

As the 20+ eVehicle startups in California and elsewhere can attest, hollow boasts, renderings, mockups and one-offs, do not produce a successful ongoing entity. Ask Musk how easy it was.
EJ222
@BlueOak On top of that, it adds more weight and cost, which is exactly what an EV doesn't need.
Eggbones
80 square feet? So say, 5 feet wide by 16 feet long? I somehow doubt it.
Will Betush
I proposed this concept to Musk three years ago via twitter. Not original, bet the patent doesn't hold up.
CAVUMark
I guess the grill is designed to gather plankton to convert into electricity?
dougspair
That grille, gotta' be quite a drag....and electric cars need that for what reason..?
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