It doesn’t get much more environmentally friendly than relying solely on the power of the sun, does it? Toyota already has a reputation for hugging the planet with the Prius. They’re already working on a Prius where secondary features, like the air conditioning, can be powered by solar panels, but why not go even further?
Detroit isn’t the only place that is feeling the economic crunch, you see. Toyota experienced its first operating loss in seventy years, so they’ve got to come up with something to get out of the red and back in the black. As a result, it seems that Toyota wants to produce a consumer vehicle that can be completely powered by solar panels. This power isn’t just for the A/C; it’s for the propelling the car through town too.
Pictured here is a solar car concept from Honda and I’m thinking that if Toyota wants their solar car to sell like hotcakes, they won’t want it to look quite as gawdy and atrocious.
For now, the next step would involve creating a Prius-like vehicle where solar panels on the car collect some of the energy and then this is supplemented by solar panels attached to the roof of the owner’s home. Presumably, the owner can then plug in at the end of the day to collect some of the solar juice collected over the course of the day.
Looking further, Toyota wants to make a car that is completely reliant on its own solar panels. Is this the car of the future? Maybe. Then again, it could be the hydrogen-powered Honda FCX Clarity instead.