One of Toyota's numerous non-car-building business is getting into a new field tangentially related to cars. Toyota Industries Corp. is developing a new solar-powered charging station for plug-in vehicles. In Toyota City, where the automaker is based, 21 of the new stations will be installed at 11 different locations by the local government. Since solar power is inherently limited by time of day and weather conditions, each of the bays gets an 8.2 kWh storage battery and is also connected to the grid. With local 200 V grid power available, the charging output is 3.2 kW. When running on solar alone, the output drops to 1.5 kW at 100 V. The station also has the capability to return energy to the grid when the batteries are full and no vehicles are being charged. No word yet on whether Toyota plans to make the solar charging system commercially available.

[Source: Tech-On]



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