Nuts and Bolts of Solar Power: Giving Your Car Sun Stroke

Monday January 19th, 2009 at 7:11 AM
Posted by: goofshow

solar powered carHopefully we’ll soon move into an automotive age when cars are running on empty. No, I don’t mean because gas prices are going to become so outrageous that no one can afford to drive; we’re talking the dawn of solar powered cars. Yes, cars powered by our good old friend the sun! There’s some nuts-and-bolts to it. To be more specific we’re talking electric vehicles that are powered by renewable energy obtained from solar panels attached to the vehicle’s roof. Am I blowing your mind?

A quick solar power automotive lesson for you hotshot: the photovoltaic cells convert the Sun’s energy directly into electrical energy—this how it runs. Sounds great on paper if you live in such places as Australia—where they hold an annual 3000 kilometer solar race across the continent. But what about those who inhabit such foggy havens such as my beloved San Francisco?

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Let the Sun Shine, Toyota Declares

Friday January 2nd, 2009 at 7:11 PM
Posted by: m35man

solar priusToyota, who’s Prius is the most popular car on the hybrid market today, is upping the “clean and green” ante with a new vehicle in development that will run partially on the sun’s rays. They will also start the long-range development of a car that will run solely on solar. Both vehicles will take several years to design and build, but the sun will be around for awhile, so it’s a win-win.

Sales of the Prius are still huge, but not as high as they were last summer when gas prices spiked through the roof. Here in San Francisco where I live, pro-green residents gobbled up Priuses like jelly bellies or iPods. I saw a guy the other day trying to open the door of what he thought was his Prius, until he noticed that his (same color and year) was parked a few spots over. Consequently, a lot of Prius customization companies are cropping up all over the country — so that owners can distinguish their Prius from all the others out on the road.

Toyota should be praised for announcing this new endeavor. If only the Big 3 would get on the solar bandwagon – with real projects rather than lip service. And people wonder why Japan is kicking our derrieres when it comes to selling cars!

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