Solar panels are cropping up in some interesting places and the next-best thing is emerging in the form of tonneau covers, the big flat panels that lock over the beds of pickup trucks. A Canadian company called Worksport is leading the way in this domain.
Worksport recently announced its commitment to the concept of integrating solar panels into tonneau covers for pickup trucks. The company emphasized its focus on not only catering to the conventional tonneau cover market but also on establishing a widespread market for tonneau covers equipped with solar panels.
In 2023, the company partnered with GreatCell Energy, an Italian firm and a member of the EU thin film PV consortium Solliance. They also reached an agreement with Hyundai America Technical Center to create custom prototypes of their 650-watt Worksport SOLIS solarized tonneau cover for Hyundai’s Santa Cruz pickup truck. The deal also involves Worksport’s COR energy storage system.
Today, the company revealed that their new solar-powered tonneau cover can be used on Ford, RAM, and General Motors light pickup trucks. These “trucks” have enough space for solar panels that are tough, durable, foldable, and capable of producing power in all light conditions. The best option is a lightweight and flexible perovskite solar cell array that covers the entire tray of the vehicle. This array can generate power even in heavy shade when the vehicle is parked.
The company is expecting to receive a major order from its solar panel partner. However, before they can begin manufacturing the covers, they need to undergo a final quality check. At the same time, preparations are being made at the company’s factory in Buffalo for large-scale production.
As for the idea of solar panels on pickup trucks, Worksport sees a natural fit between functionality and sustainability.
Reference- Business Wire, Worksport Newsroom, Clean Technica, Interesting Engineering