Is Toyota Hot on the Trail of a Solar Powered Car?


Photo Credit: Tochichi

Toyota, who is famous for its groundbreaking introduction of the Prius, is currently rumored to be hot on the trail of another first... a solar powered car. This headline was splattered all over the Web last Thursday. The vehicle will feature roof mounted solar cells that will have the ability to collect enough electricity to power a small portion of the vehicle. The future goal will be to have these vehicles completely powered through the solar energy they collect, but this was admitted to be a few years down the line.Good News Travels Fast
Like the circulation of rumors flying around in a sorority, news of new technologies in the transportation front has the tendency to fly hot and heavy, especially when the pillow talk includes the key words, solar power. There are not much more of a sustainable resources in the world than the sun itself. It is there 365 days of the year and we can pretty much guarantee it will be there for centuries to come. So when other publications caught wind of Toyota's announcement for the new year, news traveled fast.

The Answer is... Yes and No!
While Toyota is indeed working with the idea of solar power on a number of fronts, the chance that this news is actually referring to a solar vehicle close to production is highly unlikely. The website, The Truth About Cars, did a thorough investigation of the rumors and found that there was absolutely no proof in Japanese headlines, other than news of new construction technique in Japan incorporating electric cars and home energy.

Well, maybe next time the news will be real... nothing like a good media prank to start the new year off with a nice solar-loaded bang. In the meantime, a retrofitted trailer home is about as green as solar transportation gets today!

More on solar powered transportation
Japan’s First (Barely) Solar Powered Cargo Ship Takes to the Waves
Solar-Powered Electric Cycle Rickshaw Debuts in Delhi
Solar Power International 2008 Opens: Here’s How You Can Participate

Tags: Driving | Electric Cars | Fuel Efficiency | Prius | Transportation

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