Toyota developing solar-powered car

Article by Christian A., on August 26, 2010

It has been reported by a top business publication on Thursday that Toyota Motor Corporation is clandestinely concentrating in the development of a vehicle that will be propelled exclusively by solar power in its attempt to reverse its struggling industry with an eco car of the future. The publication of Nikkei, however, commented that it will take years before the intended vehicle will be offered for sale.

The offices of Toyota were closed Thursday and officials were not right away available for interview. The Nikkei reported that Toyota is laboring on an electric car that will receive part of its energy from solar cells outfitted on it and can be recharged with the power produced from solar panels utilized in of solar-powered homes.

The car manufacturer, however, later hopes to develop a version wholly powered by solar cells installed on the vehicle, the publication said without citing the sources of information.

The solar car is part of the Japanese top car maker's attempt boost revenues during times of crisis, The Nikkei reported. Last month, Toyota shocked the nation by making a public announcement that it will fall into its first operating loss in 70 years, as it feels the effect of the worldwide financial downturn, more so in the significant market in the U.S.

The swelling yen has also contributed in harming the income of Japanese car producers. However, Toyota is ahead in green technology and officials of the company have emphasized that they will not reduce resources on environmental research in spite its financial dilemma.

The Lexus and Camry makers, Toyota, has already started utilizing solar panels to generate its own electricity at its Tsutsumi plant in located in central Japan. The solar roof panels are comparable to the size of 60 tennis courts and generate sufficient power to supply 500 homes, said Toyota. This cuts back carbon dioxide emissions by 740 tons per year and is comparable also to utilizing 1,500 barrels of crude oil.

Toyota is probably going to gain proficiency indirectly in solar energy when its associate in developing and making hybrid batteries, Panasonic Corporation takes over Japanese competitor Sanyo Electric Co., prominent in solar energy, early in the following year.

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