Toyota Solar-Powered Prius

SolarPriusPic

Car manufacturing giant Toyota Motor Corp is to begin trialling later this month a new version of its Prius hybrid car, this time with up to 860 watts of thin film solar that will be able to charge its “solar battery” as it drives, and add more than 50kms to its fossil fuel-free driving range.

The trials taking place in Japan use high efficiency (34 per cent) Sharp thin film solar cells situated on the bonnet (or hood), roof, rear hatch door and rear hatch door varnish.

The aim in the series of trial being co-ordinated by Toyota, Sharp and research organisation NEDO is try and reach 1kW output from solar panels on the car, which they see as a potential game changer – not just for hybrids, but also full battery electric vehicles.