Toyota’s Solar-powered Car
by Mark R
About six months ago, we reported that Toyota was planning on putting solar panels on the Prius to power the air-conditioner. It has been recently been released that the famed Japanese motor company plans to release a car that is completely solar-powered.
As you can see on the photo, the solar panels are on the roof like solar panels of a house. This is only one way the car gets its power, as the company wants to supplement power by somehow attaching the car to the solar panels on the roofs of homes. This way, a car can be powered in a garage or parked outside.
Toyota is actually quite ahead of the solar power game. Their company in central Japan has solar panels on the roof that are equivalent in area to sixty tennis courts, and can produce enough energy to power 500 homes. That is enough annual savings for 740 tons of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equal to using 1,500 barrels of crude oil.
So is this the dawning of the age of the solar car? I used to think that a solar car was a useless invention, as most people drive at night. However, if it is possible to charge a car with solar power, then I guess we’d power our car in a manner similar to solar-powered cell phone chargers.
Originally, Toyota said that it would have the solar panels on the Prius by Spring 2009. However, a car that is entirely solar powered will take years of development, so we don’t know exactly when we will see Toyota’s solar car. I’m sure you will agree that it is a step in the right direction for a greener world.