How to make a windshield reflector from a car battery
A windshield reflectors for Tesla’s Autopilot feature are being developed in partnership with a small manufacturer in Japan.
The manufacturer, Hitachi Electric, said it would begin making a small version of the system in late 2016.
The company plans to market it at select Tesla stores in the US and Asia in 2019.
“We are very excited to be able to offer our product to the automotive industry,” Hitachi president Kazuo Yamada said.
The Japanese company said it expects to sell between 100 and 200 of the small units in 2019, while the larger ones will likely sell around 1,000 to 2,000 units.
The new vehicle-to-grid system could reduce the need for an expensive solar system by about 80%, Yamada told Bloomberg.
“In the long run, it could help reduce energy consumption by about 20% compared to traditional solar energy,” he said.
A solar system that produces electricity for a battery-powered vehicle would cost less than a similar system that uses fossil fuels, according to Bloomberg.
The system is designed to power up to 50 batteries on a battery pack.
Yamada, a former chief engineer at Toyota Motor Corp., said that while it may seem like a small price, it’s not cheap.
“This is a new market and a very expensive market, and we’re trying to get to the tipping point,” he told Bloomberg TV.
Hitachi has a partnership with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.
to manufacture the battery packs, Yamada added.