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
    Nasch, 8 Jul 2008 @ 7:22am

    Re: Re: Re: define practical

    I would say it met the needs of 95% of drivers, but only 95% of the time. The last 5% is a deal breaker; I know it would be for me. I usually don't need to drive more than a few miles at a time, but now and then I go 300-500 miles. People don't want to have to rent a car for longer trips because their own car can't go far enough.

    There is no conspiracy. I assure you, if electric cars could compete with gas cars and hybrids in the marketplace, they would. Tesla (the company, not the man) has shown that it's possible for a small startup to produce electric cars, so the argument that the big companies are keeping everyone out doesn't hold water either. There's way too much money to be made from an affordable electric with adequate range for someone not to start making them. Which means nobody knows how to make them yet.

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