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