A solar-powered electric car that would run without needing to charge may sound impossible, but Toyota, NEDO and Sharp have partnered to make it a reality hopefully. Hence they are seeking to manufacture a Prius which would be solar-powered.
They have thought of making it possible by way of combining the best solar panels on the market with the most effective batteries available. With years’ worth of experience in car manufacturing, the companies are hopeful, theoretically, to produce a vehicle that might run forever.
Independent of charging facilities
Solar-powered cars compromise the benefit of not needing to be plugged anywhere. However, a battery should be created to power the car during the night; thus, it makes the car run forever.
Currently, there is a Prius plug-in hybrid available in the market which has solar panels as an option, yet that car sells for more than 3 million yen. However, the car could be only charged when parked, plus the maximum amount of power for driving will only last about 6 kilometers.
Still, without giving up the team has made some remarkable breakthroughs in its new research and development which includes a new solar-powered Prius that was tested since July.
For starters, the team has produced a solar panel that converts sunlight to a productive level of more than 34%, whereas the current panels in the market are 20%.
Likewise, the team has engineered solar cells of about 0.03 mm thick which is placed on the car’s roof, hood, and hatchback.
Therefore the car can be well equipped with an electrical system that would charge the vehicle even when it is on the move. Thus, the battery pack was enlarged for the test; therefore, the extra battery cells in the trunk added 180 pounds of weight.
However, it is a known fact that such high effective solar panels do not come cheap. Long-time these solar panels are usually held in reserve for use on satellites, as the cost is not a consideration. In response to that, the price of a solar equipped car would be much high than what most clients would be willing to pay. However, today’s solar panels are ten times low-priced than what solar panels cost a decade ago. Hence, in the same way, Toyota is expecting that its experiments will bring down the cost of automotive solar systems.
On the other hand, Toyota has not been a leader in electric cars up to this day, but that does not mean it could not make a cherished contribution to the electric car uprising in the future.
Performance of the car
On an ordinary day, the charge can be enough for up to 56 kilometers of travel. However, the performance drops off rapidly if it is cloudy or even when it is too hot. If used in real-world driving with these conditions, the Prius should be plugged into recharge.
Making the complete package lighter and bringing down the high costs are amongst the biggest challenges for the technology.
Solar panels paired with ultrafast changing networks could finally aid drivers to consider a switch to an electric car. However, we have still got years to go before that point, more than likely.