Solar Powered Cars by Toyota
Toyota Company, which is one of the world’s leading vehicle manufacturers, has been recently lauded for its effort to innovate solar powered cars. In fact, in the very near future when natural gas resources have been completely exhausted and the price of fuel are at alarming levels, it is predicted that solar powered cars will be the trend in such times. It would therefore be no surprise to observe Toyota Company leading the wave of solar powered cars since the company is currently in the fore-front in introducing such cars to the market.
Perhaps one the most significant breakthroughs by Toyota in the advancement of solar powered cars is the Toyota Prius. Regarded as one the most ecofriendly cars in the market, the special Prius model series was specially designed by Toyota to utilize energy by trapping solar energy through the roof. The trapped solar energy is then used to power the air conditioning system and may as well be connected to other car accessories to save energy. However, recent solar powered cars innovations do not fully support car propulsion independently hence the Toyota Prius is a hybrid model utilizing other sources of energy. Regardless of Toyota Prius model utilizing other sources of energy such as electricity; it is important to note that the car reduces the cost of energy fuel and power maintenance significantly up to 40% compared to other car models.
Due to the success of the Toyota Prius hybrid model that utilizes both solar and electric power, Toyota is looking forward to develop a fully powered solar car. Although the price of such cars may be quite costly to the consumer since solar panels are made out of silicon, Toyota is seeking cheaper yet efficient options. One of the many options that Toyota developers may have to consider is recharging cars from external solar panels if the silicon may prove to be too expensive. Matter fact, it would be no surprise if in the near future solar stations become as popular as petrol stations due to the emergence of such electric-solar powered vehicles.
Another challenging aspect Toyota manufactures may need to tackle in order to develop a fully powered solar car is the efficiency of the solar battery cells. In comparison to an electric car which has an average consumption rate of about 200-250 Watts in miles per hour, a solar powered constituting of about 12 square feet of silicon on the roof top can produce up to 200 watts of energy while only operating at less than a quarter of the projection. It is worthy to note that the 200 Watts that is likely to be produced by a roof top solar powered car at such efficiency is equivalent to a quarter of horsepower. Hence, it is essential for Toyota to find a way to increase the speed of a solar powered car exponentially without relying on other sources of energy.
Though details are a bit vague, Toyota Company is believed to be developing a new kind of solar powered car that features a solar panel throughout the body and the next generation model is expected to be unveiled in 2016. In order for one to drive solar powered cars, one is required to take practical driving test.