Car manufacturers are seeking ways to optimize the estimated distance their plug-in hybrid variants and electrically-driven vehicles can drive. And it seems a solution has been found right now, the solar panel.
Japanese car manufacturer, Toyota, is about to take advantage of the availability of the solar panel to help increase their e-vehicles’ driving range. The company has revealed a plan to commence public road trials, beginning from the ending of July 2019. And of course, the car that will be used for the test is their Toyota Prius PHV (known in the US as Prius Prime) cars installed with high-performance solar batteries.
The Toyota Prius PHV experimental car that'll be used for the public road trial
Reports reaching Naijauto says it will be conducted in Japan. This is to enable them to make good use of Japan's New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and also support from Sharp Corporation-a multinational firm that produces electronic products. Sharp Corporation will be providing onboard solar battery panels with the use of high-efficient cells for the program.
According to Toyota,
"the goal is to assess the effectiveness of improvements in cruising range and fuel efficiency of electrified vehicles equipped with high-efficiency solar batteries. "
The automaker created a demo car and installed the solar panels supplied by Sharp on the roof, rear hatch door, hood and other parts of the car.
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Although the Prius PHV currently available has a solar panel fitted on its roof, this demo plug-in car is higher than it in all ramifications. For instance, after maximizing the solar battery panel's performance, the rated power generation output Toyota achieved was 860 W. It is 4.8 times higher. And coming to the efficiency of the solar battery cell, it surpasses 34% when in fact, the existing Prius is at 25.5%.
However, what is even more remarkable is the system which this demo car is equipped with. It charges the vehicle's driving battery as the demo car is moving and when it's parked.
With the support of NEDO and Sharp, Toyota will test out the solar on the Prius PHV
Toyota says this development is expected to lead to “considerable improvements in electric-powered cruising range and fuel efficiency."
The Japanese automakers also pointed out that the highest daily charge of the demo car's battery when it's parked is much the same as the estimated distance of 44.5 km (about 27.3), while the existing Prius is 6.1 km (3.8 miles).
This public road trial will be carried out under different driving conditions in Tokyo and other parts of Japan. The aim is to make use of the data gotten to develop an onboard solar recharging system.
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