Nissans to use ICP Solar battery chargers

Nissan is partnering with ICP Solar to add solar battery chargers to new vehicles.

Nissan cars sold in North America and Europe will feature solar chargers from ICP Solar, under a sales agreement announced Tuesday by the two companies.

The chargers will serve to keep the 12-volt batteries of new Nissans charged while they are parked on sales lots. Car dealers often have to replace batteries left dormant, even on new vehicles.

ICP Solar also sells the $50 Sunsei SolarCharger to consumers seeking supplemental power for car batteries.
ICP Solar also sells the $50 Sunsei SolarCharger to consumers seeking supplemental power for car batteries. ICP Solar

"With the new generation of cars including more and more electronics embedded such as GPS navigation systems, DVD player, cruise control, hands-free cell phones, and voice activation, the battery drain on new cars will become more of an issue for major automotive manufacturers and car dealers," said Tom Clark, Nissan's vice president of sales for the Americas, in a statement.

ICP sells consumer solar chargers between $50 to $1,350 for keeping the batteries of cars and recreational vehicles juiced up. Its chargers are included in Volkswagen Beetles shipped from Mexico.

Solar applications being explored by automakers include Toyota's reported plans to integrate Kyocera solar cells to power the air conditioning in Prius hybrids.

And Envision Solar's solar LifePod parking structures, which could charge up electric cars, are attracting attention in Hollywood.

Meanwhile, the sun-powered SolarTaxi from Swiss engineers hit the Bay Area last week during a promotional trip around the world.

The Montreal-based ICP Solar also sells solar cells integrated into the roof tiles of buildings.

The company announced in June that it will supply solar chargers for Sea Choice boating equipment.

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