It seemed like it would only be a matter of time before Toyota would jump into the market of using renewable energy to charge a car and they have done so in a big way. The solar charging station by Toyota will be put on display at the Tokyo Motor Show 2009. While there are other charging stations on the market for electric cars, the fact that this one is solar powered has the industry abuzz in anticipation.
The solar charging station by Toyota almost looks like something that you would have seen in one of the old sci-fi movies, but this is the real deal. It works by collecting the suns energy through solar panels and then stores the energy in a battery that is later used to charge and power the vehicle. This is just another great innovation that is pushing our world to a ‘greener’ lifestyle and will use renewable energy in yet another every day application.
While there is not yet a price tag that has been placed on the device, it should be available on the general market for purchase sometime in 2010. Current estimates have it coming out in the range of “several hundred thousand yen” (a few thousand in USD). With the money that one would save on their electric bill, you would have to think that this will be worth every penny once it finally does hit the open market.
In addition to the solar charging station by Toyota has also introduced a battery charger that can be mounted directly into the vehicle. It will just about double the current voltage to charge the secondary battery of hybrid vehicles. This is another money saver that electric car owners will probably flock to once it is available to them.
A solar panel charger for an automobile is a huge breakthrough in that hybrid and electric cars are becoming more and more popular because of the falling economy and rising gas prices. If someone can use solar charging and recover the cost of their investment in just a few months, it makes even more sense to buy one of these energy efficient cars. In less than a year, you can literally be charging your car and driving down the highway at absolutely no cost to you. The world is well on its way to becoming ‘greener’ and innovative uses of solar panel chargers will lead the way.