NEDO, Sharp and Toyota to begin public road trials of PV powered electrified vehicles

Toyota’s Prius PHV demo model equipped with solar battery panel

NEDO, Sharp Corporation, and Toyota Motor Corporation will commence public road trials with a PV powered electrified vehicle from late July. The demo car is equipped with a solar battery panel that utilizes several solar battery cells with a conversion efficiency of 34 percent. The shape of the module, environmental durability, surface materials, and other factors are based on specifications for driving trials implemented by Toyota, says the company. The solar battery cell is a thin film about 0.03 mm in thickness. »This makes it possible to efficiently install the film to fit the curves of parts with limited space, including the vehicle roof, hood, and rear hatch door.« The rated power generation output of the demo car is approximately 860 W.
Previously, the Prius PHV charged the driving battery only while the vehicle was parked. However, with improvements in power generation output, the demo car employs a system that charges while the vehicle is being driven. »This is expected to boost the BEV-mode cruising range and fuel efficiency significantly.« Toyota plans to conduct the trials under various driving conditions in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo, and other areas.
In April 2016, national research and development organization NEDO set up the PV-powered Vehicle Strategy Committee, which is comprised of members from industry and academia. With the goal of finding solutions to energy and environmental issues in the transport sector, the committee's research focuses on solar power systems. Sharp and Toyota are also active committee participants.

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