Toyota is Testing its First Ever Solar-Powered Car

Toyota, Sharp, and NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization of Japan) are collaborating to develop a solar-powered electric car that will function without needing to be charged.

By coupling the best solar panels out there to the most efficient batteries and add years’ worth of experience with car-manufacturing, the organization hopes at least on paper to develop a car that might run forever.

Koji Makino, project manager at Toyota said:

The solar car’s advantage is that, while it can’t drive for a long-range, it’s really independent of charging facilities.

One of the major issues that electric-powered cars have is that they still need to be charged, meaning charging docks which are not exactly cheap. On the other hand, the sun is a renewable source of energy and won’t need charging docks or any additional costs. In theory, a battery powerful enough to keep the car running during nighttime fitted with solar panels can outperform other types of tech currently used to power cars.

While it might appear insignificant in-terms of joining solar energy with a car but in reality, it is considerable progress given that a large amount of energy is needed to move a car. Another development this research has yielded is the fact that cars can be charged while they are in motion, something that has never been done before.

To create the optimal solar-powered car, there are still multiple features that need working on. Auto-analyst at Carnorama consultancy Takeshi Miyao told the media:

This is not a technology we are going to see widely used in the next decades. It’s going to take a long time.