ETIP Photovoltaics

Roadmap 2

Vehicle Integrated PV

Rationale for support

Electrification of the transport sector by massive deploy- ment of E-mobility, while relying on renewable energy only, is an important step towards an environmentally friendly and sustainable energy system. Vehicle integrated photovoltaics (VIPV) provides the most intuitive solution by converting solar energy directly on the vehicle. In addi- tion, it utilises extra and usually unused areas for solar en- ergy generation and it hence stands for a true added value to the vehicle.

In a nutshell, the main challenge that exists today relat- ed to VIPV solutions is the fact that there is a lack of pro- found proof of environmental and economic benefits of VIPV. This is related, on the one hand, to the fact that this is a quite new application for widespread PV and, on the other hand, to the huge variety of use cases. The PV can be installed on/integrated in a variety of vehicles (trucks, caravans, passenger cars etc.), can be used for a variety of use cases (range extension, auxiliary, refrigeration etc.), and can be based on a variety of PV technologies (silicon based, III-V based, organic based etc.). Hence, the follow- ing items should be tackled.

  • Standardization of data collection
  • Establishment of shared database
  • Specification of VIPV benefit
  • Homologation of PV components
  • Recycling of VIPV components
  • Cost-competitive manufacturing
  • Long-term sustainability


Even though VIPV was already introduced in the 80s, it is just recently with the drastic decline of the PV system cost, and strong increase of the popularity of electric ve- hicles (EV), that VIPV is brought more and more into the spotlight. Still, only few EV models with VIPV are currently available, mostly as prototypes. Many solutions exist for VAPV (vehicle-applied photovoltaics), where PV modules are mounted on existing vehicle surfaces after the vehicle have been completed, especially for commercial vehicles, buses and caravans. EV startups from EU and USA are pro- moting VIPV for passenger car market, mostly in EV proto- type stage and partly with series production announced. Two automotive OEMs from Japan and Korea are active with series production, while large car companies in EU are still with R&D efforts and prototypes. Glass manufacturers’ interest in VIPV has been aroused. Several glass manufac- turers worldwide have presented planning or prototype PV glass roof. VIPV passenger car boom is yet to come, while expectation for it is growing.

Targets, Type of Activity and TRL

Demonstration at least at pilot line level of manufacturing for cost competitive VIPV products as well as the demon- stration of their affordability, sustainability, modularity, and synergies will be necessary. Different cell, intercon- nection and encapsulation technologies and materials need to be tested, evaluated, optimised, and categorized for different VIPV use cases and different types of vehicles. It will be mandatory to address European PV value chain to support VIPV manufacturing as well as to expand the European PV value chain deeply into automotive sectors by involving and encouraging stakeholders. A TRL of 6-8 is expected. System level activities to address environmental, economic, and societal impact of VIPV as well as to clari- fy safety, recyclability, and grid compatibility issues will be important to strengthen the bankability of VIPV and the confidence of policy makers to put supportive regulatory measures. Development of the methodology for compar- ison of different technologies on different vehicle types is mandatory, since this will give investors, OEMs, etc. the ability to understand the specifications required for VIPV.


Rapidly changing shadowing of the PV during driving im- pacts the PV module development for VIPV, as partial shad- ing patterns require specific interconnection layouts and ultra-fast maximum-power-point tracking. Furthermore, cleaning and (partial) repairing of the PV modules should be possible in case of small impacts, scratches or damag- es. Other legal technological requirements surpassing the PV standards result from recycling and safety demands for automotive industry. An intelligent technology needs to be developed to connect the VIPV system with the grid or buildings (V2G, V2B) to balance sources and drains of the grid at any time during parking, while still charging the EV battery. Furthermore, aesthetical requirements (desired colors, homogeneity) must be fulfilled to significantly in- crease the social acceptance of VIPV.

KPITarget Value
Data Collection

Development of a shared database and standard of data col-
lection for mobile PV applications including the specification
and the definition of environmental and economic benefits of
different use-cases, regions, and vehicle types. (2025)


Definition of specific technological requirements for PV applica-
tion in EVs with respect to safety, electro-magnetic compatibil-
ity, recyclability, etc. aligned with EU road and vehicle require-
ments and safety standards. (2027)


Demonstration at pilot line level of manufacturing for cost com-
petitive VIPV products and their long-term sustainability (2030)