An AP report is generating headlines around the world:
Toyota Motor Corp. is secretly developing a vehicle that will be powered solely by solar energy….
According to The Nikkei, Toyota is working on an electric vehicle that will get some of its power from solar cells equipped on the vehicle, and that can be recharged with electricity generated from solar panels on the roofs of homes. The automaker later hopes to develop a model totally powered by solar cells on the vehicle, the newspaper said without citing sources.
Getting some electricity from rooftop PV panels isn’t news, though it is a good idea, if only a “symbolic gesture” until panel costs drop sharply. [See also Treehugger's "Solar-Powered Toyota Prius Project."]
But there isn’t enough rooftop area to run a car solely on rooftop solar cells. I don’t see how it would work even for an ultralightweight short-range city car with a really big roof area — an ungainly, unaerodynamic design. And don’t forget, cars are often parked inside.
This story does seem a tad unreliable given the full opening sentence: