In consideration GM's exellent work in the development of VOLTEC, the idea of having a sun acivated (Solar Panel) charging system is absolutley necessary. My many years of work and experience with Solar Panels having given me a high respect for the technology.
I bought my first panels in 1995 to charge my batteries which was running the house power for my Arizona Ranch. Since then, the panels are of a 100 times more effective per square inch of surface than they were then. This makes the roof surface of the Volt a great platform for a Sun Activiated charging potential. It would have a way of absorbing much of the direct sun rays which would actually result in a cooler internal tempature of the vehicle passenger compartment.
It would add some additional cost to the project but the Solar Technology is already developed and to apply it to the construction of the roof would not be so very expensive.
What does others think about this application to our VOLT?
larrymcfall, Great to see another fan of SOTS (Solar on the Surface). We have already posted extensively about the topic in these forums. Please use the search function and type in SOTS. Hundreds of detailed posts are there. One showed that you can even get about 6 miles added to your range if you are caught on a sunny summer day in Texas.
Most of the talk was about having extra functionality that would be more difficult if you didn't have a way of getting energy into your battery pack. Things like extra security features, always on Internet that could alert you of problems, cooling the cabin a bit right before you get there (like you mentioned), having your battery topped off after you went away on a trip and had to leave your car in the airport parking lot, etc. SOTS, love it.
Yes, it won't be cheap and that's why I think it should be an option. We have to start somewhere. Every generation beyond the first will get better, more powerful, cheaper, more durable, more integrated and more useful (as better software and features are added). I'm ready to check the solar option box on my Volt because, like you, solar has been very good to me. My house (and my electricity bill) loves it.