[TMS] Nissan Mounts Solar Panels on 'Leaf' EV

Oct 16, 2009
Keisuke Ogawa, Nikkei Automotive Technology
The side view of the Nissan Leaf. The projected part at the rear end of the roof is the spoiler.
The side view of the Nissan Leaf. The projected part at the rear end of the roof is the spoiler.
[Click to enlarge image]
The spoiler is mounted with solar panels to supplement power consumed by in-vehicle devices.
The spoiler is mounted with solar panels to supplement power consumed by in-vehicle devices.
[Click to enlarge image]
The spoiler
The spoiler
[Click to enlarge image]
The spoiler moves with the rear gate.
The spoiler moves with the rear gate.
[Click to enlarge image]
The rear view of the vehicle
The rear view of the vehicle
[Click to enlarge image]

Nissan Motor Co Ltd employed solar cells for the Leaf, its electric vehicle to be released in fiscal 2010.

Solar panels are mounted on the rear spoiler positioned at the rear end of the roof to supply power to in-vehicle devices. Some models of the Leaf will come with the solar panels. The company will exhibit the Leaf at Tokyo Motor Show 2009, which will run from Oct 24 to Nov 4, 2009, in Japan.

Nissan Motor plans to equip the Leaf with a communication module for the third-generation mobile phones. The module can report the state of the vehicle to a datacenter. The user can check the remaining power of the lithium-ion batteries mounted in the vehicle by accessing a Website on a mobile phone and turn on an air conditioner before riding the car by using a handset.

However, to use those functions, some of the in-vehicle devices have to be always in operation to receive orders from a mobile phone even when the vehicle is at a stop. Therefore, Nissan Motor mounted solar panels on some models of the Leaf to supplement power consumed by in-vehicle devices and prevent the distance capable of being traveled from decreasing.

The solar panels are mounted on the spoiler, not on the roof, to make it easier to install them. The spoiler equipped with solar panels can be mounted on the vehicle on an as-needed basis.