Toyota company is completing laboratory tests and is going to begin tests on the course of a not quite normal version of the Prius hybrid at the end of the month. A powerful complex of solar cells will be put on the roof of the car so that they can generate so much energy that they will increase the range of the vehicle without refuelling by tens of kilometres per day. The success of the idea can change the whole concept of the production of electric cars Toyota.
The pilot project was developed in collaboration with Sharp and the Japanese national research organization NEDO. The first organization is responsible for the development of solar cells, the second for the batteries. In both directions there is a serious breakthrough – if previously the batteries could be charged only while stationary and provided no more than 6 km of travel, now, with a conversion of 34%, charging goes right on the move, and the range has increased several times.
Sharp solar panels for the Prius PHV are only 0.03 mm thick. However, they produce up to 860 W of energy, so an electric car can drive electric motors and recharge at the same time. The estimated range of the course starts from 44.5 km and can reach 56.3 km if the bright sun shines all day. Not so impressive numbers, but if you are going “home-work-home” then it will be quite comfortable for you. And they, in theory, will be able to drive in the future without any fuel waste at all.
Toyota keeps silence about when it will be possible to see a hybrid Prius with solar panels on sale, although rumours point to 2022. It should be noted that the Japanese are unlikely to delay it because competitors such as Hyundai and even startups like Lightyear are already actively thinking of creating a car like this.
source – here