The demo car being used for these trials has been fitted with a solar battery panel that makes use of multiple solar battery cells that offer a conversion efficiency of more than 34 per cent.
Toyota Motor Corporation, NEDO, and Sharp Corporation intend to start public road trials of electrified vehicles equipped with solar batteries later this month. The goal of this pilot, Toyota explained is to gauge the efficacy of enhancements in the driving range as well as fuel efficiency of electrified vehicles featuring high-efficiency solar batteries.
The car being used for these trials has been fitted with a solar battery panel that makes use of multiple solar battery cells that offer a conversion efficiency of more than 34 per cent. Elements such as the module’s shape, surface materials, environmental durability, etc. are in accordance with the specifications for driving trials used by Toyota.
The solar battery cell used on the demo car, a Prius PHV (plug-in hybrid vehicle), for this trial is a thin film measuring a mere 0.03 mm in thickness. This, in turn, facilitates the efficient installation of the film so as to adhere to the curves of components with restricted space on offer. This includes the car’s roof, hood, and boot lid. Toyota noted demo car’s rated power generation output is roughly 860 W.
Until now, the Prius PHV charged the driving battery only while the car was parked. However, thanks to enhancements in the power generation output, the demo car now makes use of a system that charges while the vehicle is in motion. The Japanese carmaker said this is expected to significantly enhance the cruising range as well as fuel efficiency in BEV-mode.
Toyota intends to organize these trials under a variety of driving conditions in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo as well as other areas. The data thus obtained will be first corroborated and then leveraged for the development of an onboard solar recharging system.