Panasonic is well known for being the company that manufactures the batteries for Tesla’s EVs. The company is now venturing into a new segment – solar car rooftops.
The Japanese electronics company has set up a division that deals with the assembly of a 180-watt array of solar cells. These cells can be used as the roof of a vehicle. The photovoltaic cells will first make their debut on the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid. Solar roofs will come in handy for vehicles in order to help meet energy requirements.
Speaking about this development, Shingo Okamoto, the general manager at Panasonic commented that car roofs have the potential to become a new market for solar panels. He said that Panasonic has made history in the auto industry and in the solar industry with the sun serving as a source of energy for mass-produced cars for the first time in the world.
Tesla Chairman Elon Musk is likely to explore this technology for his forthcoming models, in view of the company’s close association with Panasonic. His tweets appear to hint that the Model 3 which is slated to hit the market soon will have a solar roof as an optional feature.
The new Prius plug in hybrid will be the first production model with solar panels that are capable of delivering energy directly to the car’s main battery. The average distance that can be traveled on a single charge from the rooftop solar panel can change, depending on the season from 2.9 kilometers (1.8 miles) to 6.1 kilometers per day. According to Okamoto this means that just having a solar roof means that solar energy can be used to meet 10 percent of the annual mileage of a vehicle.
Manju Mathew, an MBA in marketing, completed publisher training courses from the Oxford Brookes University and New York University. She started with marketing and PR roles before moving on to her current position as a full time writer. Currently living in Dubai, her life as an expat has sharpened her observation skills and flair for writing. She enjoys writing about luxury cars like Ferrari, Lamborghini, etc even if she can only dream of owning them.
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