Japanese Town Testing Solar-to-Electric Cars -But So Are The EcoHawks

Taking cars completely off the grid is tough. But a couple of recent developments paint a pretty positive picture of where things might be headed. CNET reports that several companies in Japan have teamed up for some grid-free EV charging.

Mazda, Think Global, EnerDel, and Itochu are testing charging units that power things up by storing the sun’s energy.

Solar panels attached to stationary grid-storage units designed by EnerDel will also have rapid-charging stations for the all-electric cars. The stationary storage units, gleaning and storing electricity from solar panels, will supply almost entirely solar-generated electricity for the cars.
And not to be undone, some University of Kansas students, sustainably known as the EcoHawks, had some of its efforts highlighted in Wired recently.  Sounds like the EcoHawks need to sync up with some U.S. carmakers.
The group of green engineers call themselves the EcoHawks and envision a future filled with plug-in hybrids just like the one theirs. But they know the best energy is renewable energy, so the EcoHawks accepted the challenge of taking their car off the grid. That explains the six monocrystalline solar cells on the roof of their workshop (shown above). The panels charge a battery bank the car plugs into when it needs a charge.

Photo: University of Kansas EcoHawks

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