• 2 hours How Big A Threat Is Climate Change To The Global Economy?
  • 1 day $120,000 Banana Gets Eaten At Art Basel
  • 2 days The Fastest Growing Energy Sectors Of 2019
  • 3 days How To Spy On Yourself: The Doorbell To End Civil Liberties
  • 4 days Analyst Predicts Tesla Stock Will Soar To $500
  • 5 days Australian Billionaire To Invest In $88 Million Struggling Solar Project
  • 6 days Twitter-Shaming: The Biggest Threat To Any Business
  • 6 days Canada Looks To Become A Major Source For Critical Minerals
  • 6 days Hedge Funds Are Piling Into This Key Commodity
  • 8 days Trade Deal Not Likely Before Christmas 2020
  • 8 days America's $16 Trillion Debt Bubble Is About To Burst
  • 9 days Black Friday Breaks Online Shopping Records
  • 9 days Tesla's Biggest Competitor Is Hiding In Plain Sight
  • 10 days Are Celebrities Good Or Bad For Cannabis Stocks?
  • 11 days Venezuela’s Crisis Continues As Maduro Spends $5 Billion On Oil Deals
  • 12 days Elon Musk Claims 250,000 Orders For Cybertruck
  • 13 days How To Survive Thanksgiving Politics With Cannabis Gravy
  • 14 days The Fragility Of Monetary Policy
  • 15 days 5 Oligopoly Stock Picks For Your 2020 Portfolio
  • 15 days $7 Trillion In Unfunded U.S. Pensions As Domestic Debt Hits A Record High
6 Tech Trends Transforming The Travel Industry

6 Tech Trends Transforming The Travel Industry

Greener and leaner transportation is…

Ousted Uber CEO Cashes Out $500 Million In Stock

Ousted Uber CEO Cashes Out $500 Million In Stock

Ousted Uber co-founder Travis Kalanick…

Oilprice.com

Oilprice.com

Writer, OilPrice.com

Information/Articles and Prices on a wide range of commodities: We have assembled a team of experienced writers to provide you with information on Crude Oil,…

Contact Author

  1. Home
  2. Tech
  3. Tech News

Toyota Tests Solar-Powered Prius

Toyota

Toyota is testing a solar-powered Prius that may some day not need to be plugged in to recharge, Reuters reports, adding that the car’s range on a single charge could reach up to 56 km or 35 miles.

The test car is equipped with super thin solar panels, designed by Sharp, which are usually deployed on satellites. On the Prius, the panels cover the hood, the roof, the rear window, and the spoiler to make sure the vehicle absorbs as much sunlight as possible.

The tests so far have been optimistic for sunny weather, but the designers admit the efficiency of the direct charging process drops substantially in cloudy weather and when the sunlight is too strong. High temperatures are known to compromise the efficiency of solar panels in utility-scale installations as well.

In addition to the weather challenge, the solar Prius is also heavier than comparable models: its battery pack weighs about 80 kg. Also, the solar panels need a buffer between them and the car’s body, which makes the whole layer, including the 0.03-mm panels themselves, about a centimeter thick. All this has made the car prohibitively expensive for the time being.

Two months ago, when Toyota first announced the tests, the company said the Sharp panels have a conversion efficiency rate of 34 percent and can produce some 860 W of electricity. This, Toyota said at the time, was almost five times more than the Prius PHV model, whose solar battery can generate about 180 W, with an efficiency rate of 22.5 percent.

With the project, the Japanese carmaker and its partners aim to solve one of the biggest problems for electric cars: range limitations. However, it looks like the solution will require a lot more time given all the constraints and challenges encountered by the people working on the solar Prius.

By Irina Slav for Oilprice.com

More Top Reads From Safehaven.com:

Back to homepage

Leave a comment

Leave a comment