Toyota uses Kaneka’s 26.63%-efficient solar cells for electric vehicle

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Japanese chemical company and solar module manufacturer Kaneka announced that Japan-based car and battery manufacturer Toyota Motor Corporation has selected its 180 mm², 26.63%-efficient crystalline silicon solar cells featuring heterojunction and back-contact technology for deployment in one of its electric vehicles.

Kaneka said the cells will be utilized, in particular, in the roof glass of Toyota's Prius PHEV car. “Our solar cells were selected by Toyota for use in an automobile following their use on Toyota bZ4X due to recognition of its curved surface design enabling itself to be mounted on a car body in addition to the high conversion efficiency and excellent exterior design of our proprietary technology,” Kaneka said in a statement, noting that the back-contact design with no wiring on the surface has an appearance similar to vehicle roof glass.

Kaneka's solar cell has been for years recognized as the most efficient crystalline silicon PV device developed at both the industry and research levels. In November, however, Chinese manufacturer Longi announced it crossed this threshold by achieving a power conversion efficiency of 26.81% for an unspecified heterojunction (HJT) solar cell, based on a full-size silicon wafer, in mass production.

The Japanese manufacturer started supplying bifacial heterojunction solar modules based on its cell technology in 2019.

In its latest financial report published in February, the company said it was ready to start the operation of an additional production line for heterojunction PV panels during this fiscal year to respond to the strong demand. “We plan to begin fullscale delivery of invehicle PV this spring,” it also stated.

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