Toyota Adds Solar Power To Hybrid

from the what's-wrong-with-wind-power? dept

Toyota, already considered a leader in producing hybrid gas-electric vehicles is apparently preparing to make that hybrid a bit more hybrid: it's going to add solar panels to some models, using the solar energy to power air conditioning. It's not much, but it's a start. I've actually been fascinated with solar vehicles since the fifth grade (yikes) when I convinced some engineers at GM to send me some cheap solar panels to build a tiny solar-powered car (Chrysler ignored my letter, Ford sent a form letter in response). While GM had invested in some prototypes and took part in various solar powered car contests, the technology has never been good enough to do very much at a practical level. Now, how long will it be until Toyota figures out a way to use wind power as well?

Filed Under: hybrid cars, prius, solar power
Companies: toyota

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  1. identicon
    asymptote, 7 Jul 2008 @ 4:27pm

    PV on a hybrid

    I've been wishing for exactly this for a long time. Imagine how cool it would be to get into the hybrid car at the end of the day, and instead of a solar oven, it's cooled down because it's had the A/C running, powered by the sun. Or, if you don't care about A/C, the PV will charge the traction battery, maybe providing a good percentage of the power for the drive home. The charging algorithm will change soon, either when PV is added, or when plug-in capability is added. My guess was that Toyota would add something like a PV "sunroof" in conjunction with the plug-in capability they said they would bring to market in 2010.

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