I was thinking a similar thing you are thinking, yeah, right. A solar Prius seems pretty ridiculous. Even covering the whole car in solar panels, keeping them clean and in sunlight still would be a minimal gain.
What if there were solar panels that were not panels, though? What if the whole car was a giant photovoltaic cell? That idea may not be that far off. Here is what you need to know about this new transparent solar energy source.
How Could This Technology Benefit Prius?
This solar technology is not just some whimsical thought dreamt up one day. Researchers at Michigan State University or MSU have analyzed transparent solar technology. They have said that these devices can provide a similar amount of electricity generation and provide additional functionality.
If Toyota were to come forth with a solar plug-in Prius, the availability for solar capture would increase even more. The technology is transparent, so putting it on the windows now is possible, thus giving more space for solar capture.
When Could We See This Technology?
That is a great question. I think that with the massive push from Toyota and other major carmakers to bring forth EV's in the next 5 to 10 years. Couple that with the development of solid-state batteries, and you can see where the emphasis is placed.
The crazy thing is this technology has been researched over the past five decades. But now it is starting to make headway as the push to dump fossil fuels grows. The technology has a lot of untapped potentials, but it can offer. My prediction is that once the heat dies off of battery tech and the EV push, we will see further development in how we charge.
I think that this tech has some outstanding potential, but we are not there yet. Who knows, maybe 2020 is going to be the year that we have the biggest breakthroughs.
I hope your new year is incredible and you can find the Prius you have always wanted. Thank you for reading, and be sure to check out my next story. Certified Hybrid Repair Centers Are Closer Than You Think
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Peter Neilson is an automotive consultant specializing in electric cars and hybrid battery technologies. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology from Weber State University. Peter is also an Instructor of Automotive Technology at Columbia Basin College. Peter can be reached on Linkedin and you can tweet him at The_hybrid_guy on Twitter. Find his page on Facebook at Certified Auto Consulting