A tech start-up has come up with a revolutionary piece of technology that could speed up the introduction of plug-in electric utes.
Canadian firm TerraVis has revealed plans to boost the battery capacity of electric utes by fitting solar panels to the tonneau cover. A tonneau is the hard, lockable cover for the tray.
TerraVis says the panels will charge several battery banks, which can then be used to charge the electric motor and power tools on site. It can also be used by outdoorsy-types to power campsites.
The lithium-ion batteries can hold more than 2kW of power, and within the battery bank there is a portable power pack that has a one kilowatt capacity and can charge in 15-30 minutes.
This technology is believed to be the first of its kind and can provide up to 30 per cent of the power needed for an average commute.
TerraVis is in negotiations to partner with a manufacturer on a Pininfarina-designed electric pick-up truck.
Pininfarina is responsible for styling more than 100 Ferraris including 1980s icons the Testarossa and F40 and modern machines such as the 458 Italia and Enzo.
But the company was dumped by the Italian car maker, with Ferrari’s latest cars designed in-house.
The design house has now gone out on its own – designing and building electric cars.
It recently unveiled the Pininfarina Battista, a wild electric supercar powered by electric motors producing an astonishing 1400kW of power and 2300Nm of torque — roughly triple the outputs of an entry-level Ferrari.
The Battista can crack the 100km/h mark in “less than two seconds”, Pininfarina says, making it “faster than a current Formula 1 race car”.
TerraVis says it can make solar tonneaus for all the electric utes coming to market in the next few years. This includes the electric Ford F-150 as well as vehicles from Tesla and the Amazon-backed Rivian.
But the product is still several years away from production as the company is looking for investments to help bring it out of the design stage and into reality.
Originally published as Tech firm’s genius idea for work utes