On September 1, the world’s first solar cell-equipped public bus will hit the streets of Okayama City in Southern Japan. The Sanyo-designed bus is a hybrid diesel-electric vehicle whose rooftop solar cells generate 798 watts, powering the interior LED lights. In the absence of sun, solar power stored in a battery will keep the lights on for nine hours.

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The hybrid Toyota Prius offers a model with rooftop solar panels that run interior systems. The all-electric Blue Car does, too. But Sanyo’s Solarve bus is the first use of this technology in mass transit. Next stop: an all-solar vehicle in mass production?

+ Sanyo

Via Crunch Gear