By April 2010, Toyota will put in place around 21 charging stations for plug-in hybrid vehicles(PHVs) and electric vehicles(EVs) in Aichi Prefecture . The most interesting thing about these stations is the fact that they are charging themselves using solar power.
The charging stations are connected to the power grid, but they can capture solar power as well through their 1.9KW solar panel , storing the energy in a 8.4kWh battery. The maximum output of the station using the grid is 202VAC/3.2kW, while using the solar panel-battery pack the output is 101VAC/1.5 kVA. The excess energy produced by the solar panel can be used for other facilities or sold to a utility company.
Earlier this year, Toyota announced an EVSE (electric vehicle supply equipment), which has a communication function with a maximum output of 200V/16A/3.2KW. Currently TIC (Toyota Industries Corp) is working on a smaller on-board charger with higher efficiency in order to meet the growing demand for PHVs and EVs. Prius, on one hand, seems to come with more and more devices that will help the development of PHVs and EVs, including generators, converters, inverters and air conditioning compressors.
This sounds very high tech for the moment but the SCI FI future is knocking on our doors.