What’s On the Horizon
To date, no automakers of note have public plans to develop a solar car for market. In January 2009, a rumor spread that Toyota was building one caused a lot of excitement, but there was no truth to it.
Going back to 2007, there was talk that a Taiwanese team that had competed successfully in the Australian World Solar Challenge was getting ready to bring a solar car to the streets. Since then, there have been no reports of this actually happening; the team’s blog seems silent on the subject.
French automaker Venturi’s Eclectic Concept, which ran on solar and wind power, was lauded upon its debut at the 2006 Paris Motor Show. But with the Eclectic 2.0, Venturi dropped the solar panels. With the Astrolab, the company has a solar-powered commuter car, but it looks so unlike any other car on the road today, it’s hard to imagine it really catching on.