A Tesla trailer with solar range extender connected to the internet via Starlink

Tesla presents a strange prototype: a range extender in the form of a trailer filled with solar panels and allowing access to the Internet thanks to SpaceX’s Starlink system.


Tesla is currently present at an exhibition in Germany in Hannover. And the American manufacturer did not come empty-handed, since visitors can discover a strange prototype. It’s about a trailer carrying 9 photovoltaic panels as well as a Starlink antenna. In other words, it could be a solar-powered range extender connected to the internet, via Elon Musk’s satellite network.

But what could this prototype be used for? We wonder a little, and the most likely being a “technical” demonstration of the know-how of the American firm in the fields of solar and digital. Tesla markets Solar Roofs (but in the form of tiles, not panels) and Starlink provides Internet access, via satellite, in remote areas and with honorable performance. More pragmatically, this trailer could for example allow you to recharge your Cybertruck during a camping trip, when it is stationary. The satellite then allowing access to the Internet while traveling.

Moreover, the Starlink system could soon offer Internet access on moving vehicles and not only in a fixed way as only the motorhome option allows. Having a satellite on its trailer would therefore allow the occupants of the car to access the Internet during the trip.

2.7 kW of power thanks to the trailer?

On the prototype, we see that two thirds of the solar panels are unfolded. We then imagine that these can be folded up in the trailer, leaving only 6 visible panels. These could be used to recharge the battery of the vehicle towing the trailer. Like Lightyear with its solar car 0, which uses the sun’s energy to increase the vehicle’s range. According to our colleagues on the site Electrekit could be 300 watt panels, making it possible to offer a total of 2,700 watts of power depending on the sunshine. Enough to recharge a 50 kWh battery with 18 hours of sunshine or to use electric camping equipment.

A priori, this prototype should never see the light of day since it is not in the plans of Elon Musk and Tesla. The billionaire had already given his opinion on the subject by specifying that solar panels on the Cybertruck would be useless, but that they would make more sense on a van, because of the larger flat surface.

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