Don't get too excited yet, but reports are coming out of Japan that say Toyota
is developing a solar-powered car. First of all an electric car
that draws electricity solely from the sun is still quite a few years off. The first stage is a car that gets some power directly from vehicle mounted solar cells with the bulk coming from being plugged into a solar array at home. This is really not much different than some Tesla Roadster
owners like Martin Eberhard and Elon Musk
are doing today, some with a SolarCity roof
. Eventually, Toyota wants to create a car powered solely from on-vehicle photo-voltaic cells. That, however, is unlikely to come within the next decade due to the inefficiency of the energy conversion in those cells, not to mention the cost. Such a vehicle would also be highly impractical - if not outright unusable - in most areas due to insufficient sun exposure. Just having home mounted solar blended with grid power is likely to be the option for the foreseeable future. Thanks to Corey and Jarrett for the tips!
UPDATE: Toyota denies the rumors