The growing awareness of the global need for sustainable mobility empowers the application of new technological innovations to the road transport sector. Vehicle integrated photovoltaic technology (VIPV), however, is still considered a questionable issue in the automotive community.
The ecological and economic value of VIPV is not yet evident. A new position paper by the European Technology and Innovation Platform on PV (ETIP-PV) on VIPV has been published as a core source for electricity in road transport to give an overview of the global VIPV market, in particular, the current status and future potential of PV-powered vehicles. Additionally, it studies possible added value for users, communities and stakeholders mostly focusing on battery- operated electric vehicles (BEVs).
Other VIPV applications for solar race vehicles, as well as ships, planes, trains and other small vehicles are outlined and evaluated as well. Concentrating on different Use Cases, the paper estimates the economic and environmental viability of PV from technical viewpoints. In conclusion, this paper outlines strategies for integrated research and development and clarifies the main obstructions to VIPV introduction.