Let This Trial Solar-Powered Toyota Prius Come True
While other automakers are going down the all-electric route, Toyota is taking another. Hemp-trouser-wearing drivers would be delighted to learn that their favourite Prius hybrid car is being trialled by Toyota with a new solar power system.
The project is a collaboration between Toyota Motor Corporation, NEDO, a Japanese government agency, and Sharp Corporation, which built the solar panels. The panels are only 0.03mm thick (impressive!), while allows them to be fitted nicely over the car. The solar panels are stretched all the way from the hood, skipping the windscreen (of course) and continues all the way to the hatch door of the Prius PHV. The solar-panel-fitted Prius is now being trialled in the road in Japan.
Presently, some Prius PHVs in the US are equipped with a small solar pack that can provide 160 W of power and extends the range by a mere 8 kilometres, enough for you to crawl to the nearest charging or petrol station.
This trial solar system promises significantly higher power output, up to 860 W, which is 4.8 times more than the production Prius PHV with the solar charging system. It can not only be charged while parked but also as it is on the move. So, even if you get caught low on battery, the solar power system has got your back…well, but only in the day.
It seems like there is a lot more news about solar-powered cars coming out recently. Are electric cars “so last season” and the fashionable thing now is solar? For us at Automology, who reside near/on the Equator and get sunshine all year round for much of the day and for FREE, we are OKAY if this trend is to stay.