General Information

How it Works   |    Panel Design   |    The Numbers   |    Facts and Data

Facts and Data

The Cost

The average cost of asphalt roads in 2006 was roughly $16 per square foot. The cost does not include maintenance (pot hole repair, repainting lines, etc.) or snow/ice removal. The average lane width is 12 feet, so a 4 lane highway would be 12' (width per lane) x 4 (lanes) x 5280' (one mile) = 253440 square feet. Multiply this by $16 per square foot and your one-mile stretch of asphalt highway will cost $4,055,040.00 and will last an average of seven years.

We plan to design the Solar Roadways™to last at least 21 years (three times that of asphalt roads), at which time the panels would need to be refurbished. Adding no additional cost to the current asphalt system, this will allow us to invest about $48 ($16 x 3) per square foot. This means that if each individual panel can be made for no more than $6912.00, then the Solar Roadway™ can be built for the same cost as current asphalt roads. However, asphalt roads don't give you anything back.

Based on 15% efficiency, each Solar Road Panel™ can produce an average of 7.6kWh per day. Our hypothetical 4-lane, one-mile stretch of road would require 1760 Solar Road Panels™. That means that, each day, this stretch of Solar Roadway™ would produce at least 13,376 kWh of electricity. That's 4,882,240 kWh per year, enough to take 500 homes completely “off grid”. You don’t get that out of asphalt!

In addition, the Solar Roadway™ replaces our current aging power grid. The Solar Roadways™ carry power—not from a centralized point like a power station, but from the power-producing grid itself—along with data signals (cable TV, telephone, high-speed internet, etc.) to every home and business connected to the grid via their driveways and parking lots. In essence, the Solar Roadways™ becomes a conduit for all power and data signals.

For an accurate cost comparison between current systems and the Solar Roadways™ system, you’d have to combine the costs of asphalt roads, power plants, and power and data delivery systems (power poles and relay stations) to be compatible with the Solar Roadway™ system, which provides all three.

In 2003: the US used just over 4,372 Billion kilo-Watt hours of electricity. This would require 14,574 300MW power stations (coal-fired, nuclear, etc.). For the sake of argument, let’s assume coal-fired power stations, which cost roughly $1B each for a 300MW plant.

Asphalt roads: 25,000 square miles in the “lower 48” states = 696960000000 square feet. At $16/square foot, this is a cost of $11,151,360,000,000 and the cost of asphalt is rising rapidly with the cost of petroleum. This does not include maintenance (pot hole repair, repainting of lines, snow/ice removal, etc.)

Cost to build Conventional Roads:

  • Power plants (14,574 plants): $14,574,000,000,000
  • Fuel cost (coal):900 million tons
  • Asphalt roads (25,000 square miles): $11,151,360,000,000 (this is just to build and it must be replaced every 7 years)
  • Delivery system (telephone/power poles, relay stations, cable TV, high speed internet, etc.): Cost unknown

4.84 billion (12' by 12') Solar Road Panels™ would be required to replace the current asphalt road system, parking lots, and driveways in the 48 contiguous states. This is enough to provide three times more electricity than the United States used in 2003 and almost enough to supply the entire world.

If the Solar Road Panels™ last 21 years before needing to be refurbished (not replaced), then we can triple the amount of money spent on asphalt roads, which have to be replaced every seven years.

Adding the cost of the power plants and tripling the cost of the asphalt roads, we get a total cost of $48,059,670,000,000. Divide this amount by the 4.84 billion Solar Road Panels™ required to replace the asphalt, and we get a target cost of $9923.16 per panel. This number is considerably higher if you pad in the costs of utility poles and relay stations that will no longer be needed with the Solar Roadways™ system.

In addition, there is no way to calculate additional savings such as the reduction in costs of vehicle and health insurance (due to lighted night roads, wildlife avoidance systems, snow/ice removal, etc.). Accidents and the loss of life (both human and wildlife) will be drastically reduced upon the Solar Roadways™.

Then there is the whole environmental issue: elimination of the fossil fuel plants will take away about half of the CO2 emissions that are known to be contributing to the climate crisis. Providing a means to recharge all-electric cars anywhere along the roadside will open the door for the elimination of the internal combustion engines, which account for most of the other half of the CO2 emissions. With internal combustion engines now obsolete, our dependency on oil—foreign or domestic—will finally be over with.


For roughly the same cost of the current systems (asphalt roads and fossil fuel burning electricity generation plants), the Solar Roadways™ can be implemented. No more Global Warming. No more power outages (roaming or otherwise). Safer driving conditions. Far less pollution. A new secure highway infrastructure that pays for itself. A decentralized, self-healing, secure power grid. No more dependency on foreign oil.

The real question may be: what will be the cost if we don't implement the Solar Roadways™?