Solar Energy Flash

Solar Energy Flash

how come toyota in US doesnt offer the solar or plug in charging accesories on their hybrid here.?

how come toyota in US doesnt offer the solar or plug in charging accessories on their hybrid here like the ones they sell in Japan?
it sure does give you more time to just use your electric motor to drive your vehicle out of parking lot before your engine kicks in.

Toyota hybrids available in the US but not sold in Japan: Camry, GS450h, LS600h, Highlander (Kluger)
Toyota hybrids available in Japan but not sold in the US: Alphard, Dyna, Estima, Toyoace, Crown
Toyota hybrids available both in Japan and the US: Prius, Harrier (RX400h/RX450h)

Info from: http://toyota.jp/ecocar/index.html (hybrid vehicle list) and http://www.toyota.com/ (hybrid Flash tab on top)

To my knowledge, Toyota does not offer the Japanese consumer a solar or plug in charging accessory for the Toyota Prius nor the Toyota Harrier.
http://toyota.jp/prius/dop/
http://toyota.jp/customize/prius/
http://toyota.jp/harrierhybrid/dop/index.html

A plug-in hybrid available from Toyota is in development, but it is not available to the consumer yet.

Japan Certifies Toyota Plug-in Hybrid for Public-road Tests:
http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/news/07/0725.html

Video of the plug-in Prius in testing:
http://www.toyota.co.jp/en/tech/environment/phv/conference/index.html

Toyota Advances Plug-In Hybrid Development With Partnership Program Involving UC Berkeley, UC Irvine, California Energy Commission And Air Resources Board:
http://pressroom.toyota.com/Releases/View?id=TYT2007072552930

Since there is no plug-in Prius or Harrier (RX400h/RX450h) available from Toyota, what would adding a solar charger do for you other than topping off your 12v accessory battery? The hybrid battery is isolated from the car when not in READY, so how would a solar charger be able to charge the hybrid battery?

There are no commercially-available plug-in hybrids on the market so far. (So you cannot plug them in, other than the same gas station pump that most other regular cars use.) Some hobbiests and aftermarket companies have been altering a few hybrids (Toyota Prius, Ford Escape Hybrid/Mercury Mariner Hybrid) to make them plug-in capable. Typically this requires adding additional hybrid batteries, besides the ability to charge off the mains.
For more information, check out http://www.calcars.org/vehicles.html

For cost reasons, unless you are a fleet owner or other high-mileage driver it probably will not be worth the cost of the PHEV conversion for you. (Conversion pricing is high due to startup costs and low volumes, besides the pricing of the needed additional battery packs.)

To note, converting to a PHEV (plug-in hybrid electric vehicle) does not reduce the vehicle’s range. It gives the owner the option to recharge the (newly added larger) hybrid battery pack at night (cheap electricity and off-peak electric load which would otherwise be lost). The vehicle would run for a certain distance (longer than stock) on the stored electric power alone, and when the battery pack is depleted to a certain point the vehicle reverts back to its original hybrid self and runs on a combination of the gasoline engine (which will also recharge the battery) and the electric motor. A PHEV would add a greater all-electric range to the existing hybrid, besides the ability (but not the requirement!) to plug it into an electric source.

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