Toyota Prius PHV (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle), the world’s first car with solar charging system

The new Toyota Prius PHV (Plug-in Hybrid Vehicle) was launched in 2016, appearance has changed so drastically from the Prius base vehicle, the total amount of power rechargeable lithium-ion battery is also equivalent to 2 times from the conventional “8.8kWh”, significant improvements have been subjected.

The drive is also used in combination for power generation motor in addition to the driving motor, the mechanism also significantly revamped.

And, the interesting part that becomes the centrepiece of such new Prius PHV is that it’s the first production car to use solar charging system.

The driving battery is charged with solar charging system.

The fact is that the solar panel in the predecessor Prius has been installed, however this is quite different because the charging function is now attached in the roof in a full scale.

Solar panels is mounted to cover the majority of the roof. And as a component of the system, in addition to the solar panels, and controls the electricity generated on-chip DC / DC converter “Solar ECU”, “Solar Battery” temporarily stores a nickel hydrogen generated electricity in a sub-battery.

When the vehicle is parked, the power generated by a solar charging system are charged to the aforementioned solar battery. After conserve power to solar battery full, collectively mechanism is supplied to the drive with lithium ion batteries. Accordingly, electric power generated by the solar charging system during the parking is used to drive the vehicle.

Further, electric power generated by the solar panel when the vehicle is traveling is provided to the 12V battery. The 12V battery, something common to most of the cars are equipped to supply electricity to the electrical components.

When the car travel, a solar charging system reduces the burden of the drive for a lithium-ion battery to compensate for the consumption of the 12V battery, to improve efficiency.

That is, electric power generated by the solar panels during travel will be used for the operation of the electrical component via a lead battery of 12V.

2017 Prius Prime can travel about 5km, when charged in one day

The developer says that “lithium-ion batteries is very delicate. Also it has various constraints.” By the way, at the maximum output of about 180W of solar panels, as the solar panels to be attached to the production car, that’s the world’s best output.

The amount of electricity that is charged is affected by weather, in a sunny day, using JC08 mode that’s possible about 5km of running while charging. Since the new Prius PHV’s goal is to run more than 60km in a state in which the lithium-ion battery for the drive has been fully charged, speaking last simply, will be equipped with a power generation capacity to the full can be charged in about 12 days.

Image Credit: commons.wikimedia.orgja.m.wikipedia.org, ja.wikipedia.org