Toyota has announced that it is starting to test new high efficiency solar cells to be used on electric cars that can potentially increase the range of 35 miles per day. The solar cells produced by Sharp are only 0.03 mm thick, but offer about 860 watts of power, and you can even recharge your car while driving. Testing will begin on public roads late this month, but it is not known when it could become a commercial vehicle.
Toyota said the development will result in “significant improvements” in the power cruiser range and fuel efficiency. Previously, the Prius PHV charged the battery only when the vehicle was parked. With the new version, Toyota is using a solar battery cell film that can be placed on more vehicles to increase the conversion rate. Toyota plans to test with the new version of its solar cells in Toyota City, Aichi Prefecture, Tokyo and other areas. The company is looking beyond the electrified car market, and says its goal is to create a new market for solar battery panels that benefits the transportation and energy sectors.