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
    Rick, 7 Jul 2008 @ 7:06pm

    Re: Re: Prius Silly Solar Panel

    Humm I must have a better version of google, where 'prius starter battery problem' yields 18,000 hits and same thing with camry hybrid yields over 10,000.

    Toyota Nation has multiple threads for each car which is what I tried to use to convince my service mgr that something was broken. No luck with him - he just recharges it and says 'hope you have better luck.'

    BTW he tells me that the Prius has a switch to disable the keyless entry - the Camry hybrid does not. One of my dead battery problems happened overnight (it was 10 months old that first time) - the other 3 months later after 5 days of non-use. Neither very satisfactory to me.

    I'm sorry - I don't have a url for either of my friends that have also had similar problems (one a Prius - the other a TCH).

    Toyota tells me there's no field note calling for a fix (though on ToyotaNation one user says his TCH problem went away when the starter computer module was replaced with a newer version). This didn't impress my local service mgr.

    I'm not trying to fix anyone's hybrid problems here - and fix your own google - but the suggestion that this is a Toyota marketing joke was not mine but the technical editor of the power design column at Electronics Design News today.

    I'm fond of my TCH & very happy with the gas mileage - just wish I could trust it to leave it at the airport while I'm gone on a week's trip. 99%+ of the cars may be fine - doesn't help me if I have one of the 1%'ers. But I'd say don't worry about it if you don't have the problem.

    When I can put a wind generator prop on the back to replace the gas engine - that will be quite a boon. I'll keep looking for that with Google too.

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