- Worksport, a manufacturer of pickup-truck accessories, plans to launch a pickup-bed cover with built-in solar panels.
- The Terravis system will allow users to sustainably power tools and other appliances even when they’re far from the grid.
- Worksport says its system will eventually be able to add range to electric pickups from companies like Rivian, Bollinger, and Ford.
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With a flood of electric pickup trucks poised to hit the market in the near future, aftermarket accessory companies are starting to go green, too.
Worksport, a Toronto-based manufacturer of pickup-truck accessories, recently announced the Terravis system, a folding tonneau cover – the fancy term for a pickup-bed cover – with built-in solar panels. The idea is to take power from the sun, store it in bed-mounted batteries, and use it to power appliances and tools at jobsites, campsites, or anywhere else an outlet isn’t within arm’s reach.
Many pickup trucks already offer outlets in the bed, but they don’t run off of solar. The Terravis system also includes a portable powerpack with two outlets that lets users bring power to wherever it’s needed.
The Terravis system will fit traditional gas-powered trucks from roughly the 2010 model year forward, the company says. Worksport also plans to develop models for upcoming electric pickups from Rivian, GM, Ford, Bollinger, and others, claiming the system will be able to add range to hybrid and electric trucks, once they become available.
"Everyone is moving towards solar power and renewable energy sources and so is the pick-up truck market," Steven Rossi, Worksport's CEO, said in a press release. "Our system is being designed to, among other things, provide a meaningful source of energy for the new wave of electric trucks."
The Terravis website says that the solar system will "provide meaningful power for the forthcoming electric trucks," but the range gains from such a system likely wouldn't be too great.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, known for setting overly optimistic goals, said that a solar-panel system on the Cybertruck would generate somewhere around 15 miles of range per day. Hyundai says that the solar roof on its new Sonata Hybrid - which appears to be much smaller than Worksport's setup - could provide two miles of range per day.
Still, even a few miles of extra range could help in a pinch.
The Terravis system is still in the design and funding phase, and Worksport expects to launch the product "within 12-24 months of funding."