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12-07-2019 | Plug-in Hybrid | News | Article

Toyota Testing Prius Plug-in Hybrid with Solar Cells

Patrick Schäfer

Toyota plans to develop a solar charging system for electric vehicles. Prototypes based on the Prius Plug-in Hybrid with integrated solar panels are being tested.

Toyota is testing solar panels on plug-in hybrid vehicles in collaboration with research and development organisation Nedo and battery manufacturer Sharp. The Sharp solar cell modules were installed on the roof, bonnet, tailgate, and other parts of the Prius Plug-in Hybrid. The solar power system is to have a rated output of 860 watts, with a conversion efficiency of over 34 percent. Compared to the Prius Plug-in Hybrid with roof-mounted solar cells currently on offer, the output is 4.8 times greater.

Electricity generated not only when parking, but also while driving on the road, results in longer ranges and lower consumption. Toyota will test the vehicles in Japan from late July 2019 under different conditions, in Toyota City and Tokyo, but also in other regions. The data collected will show the amount of electricity generated by the solar battery module and the amount of energy used to charge the traction battery and help in the development of a solar charging system for vehicles.

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