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Why Can’t an Electric Car Charge itself While Driving

March 20, 2024 | Victor Lukasso

Most electric car owners think their car should charge itself while driving since they recycle some energy.

The truth is that energy conversion in electric cars isn’t 100% reliable, and they also lose some energy during the conversion process in the form of heat.

In addition, some electric cars can recycle some energy using regenerative braking (where braking is often required – racing vehicles)

Despite all this, an Electric Car can’t charge itself because it has no technology to recharge its battery on the go—technologies such as solar panels that’ll recharge your electric car while on the road.


In this article, I’ll further explain why an Electric Car can’t charge itself while driving and the technologies that’ll help them achieve this.

Why Can’t an Electric Car Charge Itself While Driving?

Electric cars can charge themselves while driving because they use the energy stored in the battery while on the road, and without the aid of charging technology, they won’t be able to charge themselves.

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While most cars also can conserve some energy using regenerative braking, this energy can’t power the vehicle.

Regenerative braking is more efficient on a track that requires frequent braking, such as F1 racers. It utilizes the car’s kinetic energy while braking and converts it into electricity stored in the battery for future use.

As of the publication, there’s no available technology that allows electric cars to charge themselves while driving, but hopefully, one will be out shortly.

So, for now, you must settle with charging your electric car at the nearest approved setting location or destination.

Other reason why an electric car can’t charge itself while driving is:

  1. Limited Energy Storage Capacity
  2. Lack of Infracstrutucre
  3. Inefficient Energy Transfer
  4. Distance Limitations
  5. Safety Concerns
  6. Cost Considerations

Technologies that Allow an Electric Car to Charge Itself

Like your mobile phone that works with stored electricity in the battery and won’t charge itself except solar technology is built into it; that’s how electric cars work.

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Electric cars are meant to consume the energy supplies from the battery while trying to regenerate some through braking, but this saved energy won’t be able to serve for long.

The two available technologies that’ll allow electric cars to charge themselves while driving are solar panels and regenerative driving.

Please continue reading to see how they work.

1. Installation of Solar Panels

Solar panels will work fine if employed to charge an Electric Car while on the go, but car manufacturers don’t promote this.

And they don’t because one solar panel won’t be able to charge a car because of the difference in capacity/ENERGY.

Also, the roof doesn’t provide enough space to house many solar panels; even if you get them to the top, they have a charging rate of 25%.

This implies that your car’s battery will not be fully charged and won’t take long because it runs down.


2. Regenerative Braking

If you reside in urban areas or are into motor racing, then regenerative braking should help conserve some of your battery energy.

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Regenerative braking helps convert some kinetic energy of the car into charge during braking.

This charge or electricity will be stored in the battery in a usable state until it’s needed.

So, you’ll only benefit from this when you brake pretty often. However, the energy will start to disperse once the brakes get hot.

Regenerative braking is often effective in hybrid cars and may not work fine for electric vehicles.


Why don’t electric cars charge themselves when driving?

Electric cars don’t charge themselves when driving because they use already saved batteries while on the go, and the infrastructure that supports self-charging isn’t available yet.

Will electric cars be able to charge while driving?

No, the infrastructure that allows self-charging on an Electric Car isn’t available yet.

Why can Tesla charge itself?

Tesla charges itself using regenerative braking, which converts kinetic energy into electricity to be stored in the battery. Still, this saved energy doesn’t have the power to charge an Electric Car fully.

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Meet Victor Lukasso, the owner of V. Auto Basics. Through this blog, Victor Provides Insights on the latest tips, maintenance, repair, and techniques in the automotive world.