Electric vehicles seem to dominate headlines and industry conversations these days with automakers including GM, Ford, BMW and others pledging to bring all-electric lineups into the fold by 2030 and states such as California vowing to ban the sale of gas-powered vehicles from its roadways by 2035.
While the big-name automakers are making their environmental intentions known, there’s a new name in town that wants to harness another powerful natural resource to move the nation’s motorists: the sun.
California-based electric-vehicle startup Humble Motors has unveiled a concept SUV with a solar-roof design named the “Humble One.” Instead of a glass roof, the Humble One has more than 80 square feet of engineered photovoltaic cells that capture sunlight and transform it into energy. This generates enough electrical power to increase driving range by nearly 60 miles a day, according to the automaker.
The Humble One concept SUV is 198 inches long, or just a little longer than a Toyota Corolla. It is shorter than the Tesla Cybertruck, and the weight, at 4,000 pounds, is 1,500 pounds lighter. The Humble One has been engineered to be as lightweight as possible while also comfortably fitting four people.
The Humble One already has its fans: The solar-powered vehicle has more than $20 million in reserved pre-orders, according to Alex Bogicevic, Humble’s engineering lead and a former executive for Ford. And its U.S. reservations increased 426% last month at a time that other EV overall U.S. sales only grew by 12%.