Related Car News & Reviews
Cars for Sale

Toyota rolls out solar charging stations for plug-in Prius test fleet

words - Jeremy Bass
Everyone knows Toyota is working on a plug-in version of its hybrid Prius. But it's also working on advanced infrastructure to support it
discount new cars  » Get the best price on a new Toyota

In cohorts with local government authorities, Toyota is rolling out a network of 21 solar powered charging stations at 11 locations across its home turf in Toyota City. The stations will be up and running, to feed a fleet of 20 Prius PHVs by April.

Each charge point draws its power from combination of the local grid and a 1.9kW photovoltaic panel connected to an 8.4 kWh battery. At standalone maximum, the battery facility charges on 101 volts -- a handy supplement to the grid-based output of 202 volts.

Unused solar power can be used for internal facilities like lighting and communication, fed back into the grid as a revenue raiser or kept on standby for local emergency use.

Toyota isn't as new to this business as it may appear. It's been working on charging infrastructure and onboard technologies for a decade or more.

Where these technologies have been somersaulting in recent years hasn't been in energy transfer but in making use of communications advances to incorporate them into 'smart' networks.

At the 2009 Tokyo motor show, the company showcased its smart-card based user authentication systems, allowing operators to build databases to analyse power usage conditions and patterns.

Toyota plans to extend IT facilities in the stations to electronic billing.

Read the latest Carsales Network news and reviews on your mobile, iPhone or PDA at

Powered By Published : Thursday, 31 December 2009

In most cases, attends new vehicle launches at the invitation and expense of vehicle manufacturers and/or distributors.

Editorial prices shown are a "price guide" only, based on information provided to us by the manufacturer. Pricing current at the time of writing editorial. Pricing prior to editorial dated 25 May 2009 may refer to RRP. Due to Clarity on Pricing legislation, RRP for those editorials now means "price guide". When purchasing a car, always confirm the single figure price with the seller of an actual vehicle.

^ If the price does not contain the notation that it is "Drive Away No More to Pay", the price may not include additional costs, such as stamp duty and other government charges. Please confirm price and features with the seller of the vehicle.

Opinions expressed with editorial material are those of the writer and not necessarily Ltd. editorial staff and contributors attend overseas and local events as guests of car manufacturers and importers.

Click here for further information about our Terms & Conditions.