The integration of solar into the rooftops of electric vehicles is an opportunity for PV, but it could also drive the development of very high-efficiency semiconductors, says Rupert Kogler, from development glazing, roof, and components at Webasto, a top 100 automotive supplier.
Electric vehicle batteries are packed with energy, with additional battery density and efficiency working to quell range anxiety for drivers. But with that capability lingers a concern from some that EVs may pose a fire risk and a challenge for first responders in the event of accidents. Professor Ray Wills from Future Smart Strategies bought his first EV in 2012 and argues that in terms of safety, EVs remain an easily superior vehicle, and even the tiny fire risk that exists is an ever-diminishing issue.
European solar manufacturing is back on the agenda after over a decade of minimal activity. Ambitious proposals are in place to reactivate a booming industry with investment earmarked, factories planned, sustainability goals announced, and political strategies outlined to support the projected growth of PV installations. Can these plans be realized? The UP Initiative will spend the second quarter delving into these questions.
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