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Toyota secretly developing solar-powered green car: Nikkei

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I always chuckle a bit whenever a newspaper headline announces anything "secret."

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Solar cars... should work great in places like Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, and Kuwait ... where they are really needed.

Should work about 3 days a week in Tokyo... except for the rainy season of course.

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hereandthere in the middle east gasoline is at pennies a gallon. maintenance costs for the electric system would outstrip any benefits. Solar panels work best where the temperature is not so hot.

with current efficiencies for the panels, there's no way they can make a car powered directly by the panels on the roof. Perhaps only if you are allowed to use it for 30 minutes a day.

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To Toyota R&D:

Now, I posted several years ago about also looking into cigar shaped wind turbines that can be attached to moving vehicles - this development is contingent on vast development in battery technology. Solar power will need something to supplement its usage due to technological limitations at this time. It would be nice if Toyota gives me credit if they accept my suggestions - it's still a common business courtesy internationally, I believe.

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Well I guess all this is are humans tried to overrule nature and behaved totally like on their own but now we are all paying the price to our mother nature for being greedy polluting children. Toyota is definately world leader in "pay back the price" or "green car" as american medias fancily trying to call.

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sarcasm is so lost on this site...

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ahhhh the american car companies urged gently into the future by a swift kick in the ass . if the japanese had not developed hybird technology we would not have it today . adopted by the big three now in desperation . keep it up toyota . maybe we will get cars of the future now . rather than the cars that the big corporations want us to buy . energy inefficiency is big business . for the car companies , oil companies , banks and power companies . is it a coincidence american car companies have to be legislated into change. dragged in kicking and screaming ! or is it the master plan to make the holders of power more rich and more in power .

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There are a few "glitches" still to be worked out. The solar car must be driven west, all the time, to stay in the sun.

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calling it a solar car is the same exaggeration as the recent story of a solar ship. Only a very tiny percentage of its power will come from solar.

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In a previous secret story, we heard that Toyota was wanting to make the car's roof a solar panel in order to provide the power for the air-conditioning.

In the article above, it is now being suggested that they will also generate electricity from home roof panels for charging the car's batteries, presumable overnight.

If the car is to be a hybrid, with a KERS system, a mini gasoline engine and a much larger electric motor, or motors on the wheels, then I don't see why it can't be done...

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"sarcasm is so lost on this site..."

Not on everyone.

Carry on.

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sarcasm is so lost on this site...

Amen to that!

Another complex skill lost to many JTers is the ability to read English, e.g. ignoring the word "some" in a sentence like "electric vehicle that will get some of its power from solar cells equipped on the vehicle".

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Good catch Unagidon.

"Toyota Motor Corp is secretly developing a vehicle that will be powered solely by solar energy..."

"electric vehicle that will get some of its power from solar cells equipped on the vehicle".

The catch is that they are hoping to develop a car that runs purely on solar energy, but the one they are working on now only partially runs on solar energy.

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Doesn't Suzuki already have a solar only powered car on TV on Sunday nights?

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Alot of talk, but where are the products for the last 10 or more years!!!!!!!

All the talk about green green green, and gas mileage, conservation, how far we have come on increasing efficiency.. Facts are, my Dad had a 1970 mercury Monterey, I mean big boat type car, big 390 cubic inch V8 motor in it, two barrel carburetor, and we would take 1 to 2 trips from Ohio to New York for family get togethers, The mercury had a three speed automatic transmission, no over drive, no lock-up direct drive torque converter, and.. that car on the highway with speeds of 70 miles an hour would get 20 miles to a gallon on the highway, That was back in 1970 when the big full sized cars were heavy built iron boats. What would it have done with an overdrive transmission? Or what would it have done added a lock-up torque converter? Now the automobile industry says they have come so far in advancements. That is BS!

I have a 1985 Pontiac Trans-am with the small V8 305 cubic inch engine, with over drive, with lock-up torque converter, electronic 4 barrel carberator. out on the highway just pulling off the highway to fill the tank and getting back on, running the tank of fuel out, such as I did from Ohio to New Jersey, got up to 29 miles to a gallon of gas, of course this is strictly highway open road driving, but 29 MILES TO A GALLON with a small V8 engine with plenty of power and fun to drive. That was a 1985 model car. The auto industry has said we have come so far??? It is hard to get that mileage out of a mid size , or sub compact car today with fuel injection and sitting in a tin can, today.

So, how far have we come??? If you ask me these automobile manufactures are full of shit and have been feeding us and filling us full of BS! I do hope Obama will come into office and stand up for the common everyday person and actually push for new technology and get it into the market at a cost all can afford which should have been already here.

There are people making their own hydrogen generators that is increasing gas mileage from 30 to 60 percent , depending on the unit they are building, just back yard mechanics, and some not even mechanics, of course the technology in measuring amounts delivered to an engine is on the rough side as for monitoring the amount of hydrogen , but just ball park regulating and fooling the oxygen sensors on the vehicle is giving a very satisfactory increase in milage, plus at the same time producing less emissions from the exhaust.

Solar would be fine and I would very much look forward to seeing it happen, but will we be able to afford it? That is the whole problem with these large corporate adventures, all comes at a very high price after it seems we have all been taken in from the very beginning and robbed of our earnings by their deceitfulness through out the past.

I have also read about Ford going to direct injection of fuel instead of fuel injection systems, while another company, not an automobile producer is advancing in a pre-catalytic converter to heat fuel , atomizing it before it is injected into an engine and expected that would produce around three times to four time the mileage gains, so does that seem that Ford is going still, in the opposite direction as for squeezing more mileage out of a gallon of gas? Year ago, I am not sure how many are up on engines and parts of an engine, but .. back around 20 years ago, there were offered in after market gaskets for an intake manifold, fine screens in the intake manifold that was to break up the gas as it flowed through the intake manifold into the cylinders to be combusted and was proven to increase gas mileage by increasing combustion of the fuel because of the fuel passing through the screens breaking down the gas into smaller particles. Just as said that gasoline vapors are more explosive than gasoline itself, so where has this fact come to be lost in fuel economy? Talking fuel injection, direct injection….where is the atomizing of gasoline to get better efficiency, which over the last 30-40 years has not happened!! The claims of today with fuel efficiency seems to just match or have even worsened to what we had in 1970-1985 in regards to my vehicles. But we are told we have advanced so far….

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Rubbish!!! Solar technology is decades away from anything like this being in any way viable.

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I also heard many times in the past that the world economy was based on oil and if we shifted from our energy dependence on oil, the world economy would colapse.. I just wounder if most of our colapse today is from the high oil prices over the last 5 years among other factors. I do not see us going of dependency of oil to electric or other green measures for a very very long time. Or atleast until we get leaders that will stand for what is right and just for the people.

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The reporter or translator didn't really get it right, as pointed out above. The solar cell will supply a PORTION of the power for the air conditioning system, which is presumably used in summer, when it is sunny, etc. The cars parked at home on a sunny day can also supply electrical energy to the home or the power grid. Anyway, I use the subway.

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as of right now -you have solar panels made of plastic film (flexible plastic sheets like Saran-Wrap). You also have hybrid technology and battery tech.

For people that have cars that mostly sit in the sun and take small trips = solar/electric/hybrid cars are a possibility. =some people will never need to buy gas for their car = fuel costs cheaper for everybody else. Some people won't drive unless the car is fully charged by the sun.

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Photovoltaic cells hardly reach 8% efficiency. That means a LOT of them are needed to power a car. Even GOOD Li-Ion batteries will need deep-cycle, long-time charging before being able to move a vehicle. I think automakers are looking at either fleet applications, or short-duty-cycle cars, with less than a 50-60km daily between-charge cycles, maximum. Otherwise JAF will be getting a lot more calls for towing! And A/C and other frivolities might need ditching too.

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Modern PV cells have far better efficiency than 8%. Most are over 20% and some are significantly higher than that. e.g. http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/story?id=49483

Quotes over 40% efficiency. Having said that, I think it's more likely to have a solar array on your roof which splits water to generate hydrogen which you then use for fuel in the car. Use a hybrid design such a Toyota has already developed, and take advantage of braking energy recovery etc. It wouldn't work well for Japanese living in tiny apartments, but it would work in other countries like the US where all the sunlight currently heating home roofs is wasted. There was a report on JT which stated that Toyota already have a hydrogen hybrid with a 500Km range.

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It is sort of funny all the talk about the hazards of low emitting energy from batteries, living near power lines, causing cancer. The low power emittted from a cell phone and brain tumors, and all are just dying to sit on top of 1000 or more pounds of batteries??

Why not use solar power to power the manufacturing of another fuel source , such as hydrogen? Then on nice sunny days the excess could be stored for evening use and non-sunny day use, instead electric stored in batteries that will not last through the times of low solar power production.. I believe all are taking the wrong approach on this alternative fuel and all are being taken into an unreliable source of energy with high hopes that is not going to produce what the demand actually is and also adding the risk to health at the same time. There are solar collectors being built at this time that are used to heat water, then stored underground for use on days that are not able to produce the power needed by sunlight alone and also for evening and night time use. This is much better than all this talk of battery storage in my opinion and does completely away with low energy effects on the body that has been reported. To use the solar power to generate other sources instead of the storage of electricity, by producing a fuel that can be stored and used to make electricity along with powering products of every day use seems to be a far better of reliable energy.. It has been so well established that batteries is not the answer. Power can be gathered from all green methods including wind, seas, along with solar to supply energy to produce abundant supplies of storable fuels to use during the poor conditions where natural sources can not be utilized. Batteries is not the answer and the proof is there that confirms that..

We need alternative fuels, fuels that are reliable and can be stored for when needed. There are also solar collectors made of concaved mirrors focused to a single point , super heating water and stored so to use it energy at a later time when needed.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/earth/4287132.html?page=5&series=15

Also focusing sunlight into one spot by mirrors with the heat equivalent to 13,000 suns used to heat hydrogen in a sealed type motor creating mechanical energy to be used for electric production.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/science/research/4288743.html?series=15

Pretty interesting innovations if anyone is really interested in new technology. You should check some of this stuff out.

http://www.popularmechanics.com/greenliving/

Sure solar panels are fine and getting more and more efficient and less expensive, but to use them to store energy in batteries , I do not see rational, but to use to produce a storable reliable fuel, I could understand and support. People are at this time rigging devises to produce there own hydrogen add-ons practically for pennies and producing free fuels to advance mileage on their vehicles by 30 up to 60 percent so why has not the auto manufactures added these alternative sources into their production of automobiles for fuel mileage? What is the problem here? Again the reason being,,,, a world economy based on oil? When we get the right leaders and politicians to back them, there will be changes made and these big wigs that has the energy supplies sewed up and controlled will begin to see darkness instead of the bright sunny days they have enjoyed for so very long. But we have seem many leaders done away with when not in line with the large corrupt corporations and those that have all the right connections with organized crime organizations.

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darkmnv: hahahha The Japanese didnt invent the hybrid, like most things they DONT invent they just were the first to market it. Like always the Japanese can afford to put out a product that loses money and not have to worry about it. The prius was losing money the first few years until they got lucky and oil went through the roof and the whole global warming scam was big, funny I dont hear anything these days of global warming.Plus hybrids are really not as great as they make them out to be.

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TONYus is so right-on.There is also an energy storing transmission called the hydristor. This moves your vehicle from a stop without stepping on the gas. This would almost double the mileage on any vehicle. What about the compressed air car? What about cooking down human shit, and running vehicles on the methane gas produced? What about using same to run generators for electricity producing plants? This very thing is now being done on animal farms around the world,without too much mention on the tv news,and no interest by our politicians. Poop run cars, trucks, would be very low polluting, but the auto companies or the politicians,are not interested in it, or in informing the public. The only answer is for the public to refuse to buy vehicles that don't operate this way.

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