Friday, January 2, 2009
Toyota developing solar powered car
Toyota is a leader in green technology
According to The Nikkei, Toyota is working on an electric vehicle that will get some of its power from solar cells equipped on the vehicle, and that can be recharged with electricity generated from solar panels on the roofs of homes. The automaker later hopes to develop a model totally powered by solar cells on the vehicle, the newspaper said without citing sources.
The solar car is part of efforts by Japan's top automaker to grow during hard times, The Nikkei said.
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Toyota has driven to the number one position in worldwide sales with the help of its hybrid vehicles. With its Prius leading the way in hybrid technology and sales, other manufacturers are scrambling to catch up. Toyota, meanwhile is pushing to retain its edge in the “green vehicle” market.
Each Prius generation since the vehicle was introduced in Japan in 1997 has made significant design improvements. Even with revised EPA estimates, the 2008 Prius is the most fuel-efficient car sold in America, with a combined average of 46 mpg. Toyota hopes to push that efficiency to its limit in the coming years.