Tesla’s Solar Range Extender with Starlink prototype could save lives during disasters

Image Credit: Falk Melzer

Tesla’s recent prototype of a solar range extender trailer with Starlink will be a game-changer for disaster relief. Tesla Germany recently shared it during the IdeenExpo. Although it is ideally a solution to help customers travel over longer distances, I think it could go further.

When I first saw it, I thought about life-saving solar microgrids deployed during natural disasters. Adding Starlink will keep people connected during disasters. Last year, we had hurricane Ida in my city. We lost power and communications were down. You couldn’t even make a phone call or send a text.


I recently interviewed Elon Musk last week at Giga Texas and we spoke about how Starlink itself helps with disasters. One of the major differences between Starlink and other internet providers is that it’s not dependent on any ground-based infrastructure. You can bring your dish inside if there’s an upcoming hurricane or disaster. Or bring it with you if you have to evacuate.



Solar, Starlink & Disasters

The solar array extender trailer would keep Starlink online and people connected.  And it would save lives for those in disaster areas. Tesla could design them into solar microgrids. This would keep fans and medical devices powered. Regarding Starlink, Elon Musk told me:

“Well, just in general, Starlink, because it is not dependent on any ground-based infrastructure can provide internet connectivity to areas that have had floods or fires or earthquakes that t have destroyed the ground-based infrastructure.”

“That’s obviously extremely helpful for rescuing people and people being able to ‘I need to I need help. I need rescue.’ It’s like how do you find them? How do you communicate with them? Starlink can and has provided that in a number of situations.”

Another Idea For Starlink & Communications

I shared another idea with Elon Musk. The Zello app helped many in my area stay in contact during Ida’s aftermath. Being unable to make a call or text left me feeling isolated from the rest of the world. It only worked for short-range though. My friends were able to send me messages but it took a while for the to come through. Using Starlink to create a WiFi bridge that extends the range of the app would be helpful.

Climate Change Will Force Millions From Their Homes In The Next 30 Years.

Climate change could force over 200 million people from their homes within the next three decades. It’s already happening in Louisiana. Residents of Isle de Jean Charles have experienced this firsthand. During Ida, Grande Isle was completely wiped out and it took months just to clear up the debris. This is just my little corner of the world.

I hope that Tesla produces the solar range extender trailer with Starlink. And I hope they design it into a microgrid with internet. It will save lives.



Tesla’s Solar Range Extender with Starlink prototype could save lives during disasters
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