battery powered car air conditioning

Automakers Should Provide A Battery Powered A/C Option

When it starts to get hot around Southern California you’ll notice more and more people sitting in their cars with their engines on just to run their air conditioning.

I just came back from lunch and I saw three people doing this in two different parking lots. With that sample, that’s a lot of people running their engines in parking spots all over California right at this moment. I’d say that’s easily 10,000 stationary cars burning gasoline right now.

This is an unfortunate situation because it:

  • Pollutes the local air and ruins air quality
  • Wastes gasoline
  • Costs money
  • Increases CO2 in our atmosphere.

It’s about time that automakers provide an option to run air conditioning off the main battery or even better…

Provide a rechargeable auxiliary battery

Either charge the battery from braking or with a solar panel. I’ve been working on a calculation this week and if every car in California had a solar panel on the roof, we’d collect a lot of energy throughout the day (I’ll get a more concrete number later).

It would be amazing if we could put that energy on the grid when we all return home in the evening. But just having a backup power source for parked A/C, camping, working right next to your car, putting juice back on the grid – seems like a good idea to me!


The energy lost by braking is pretty substantial. We should be collecting that energy. This is the idea behind hybrid cars. But it might be time to outfit all vehicles with an energy collection system as battery technology gets cheaper, safer and lighter. It’s also time to appreciate the value of energy and get in a more conservation aware mindset.

The Electric Cars of Porto Santo, Portugal

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