Tokyo: Honda Motor Co Japan’s second-biggest auto maker, said on Wednesday it is considering exporting solar cells as it plans to expand the annual capacity of a solar cell factory to 27.5 mega watts by the year-end.
Production of solar panels is part of the company’s drive towards a home-use energy business. Honda has not yet decided export details, spokesman Hideto Maehara said.
Unlike conventional solar cells made from silicon, Honda uses copper, indium, gallium and selenium, and the production process requires less energy and emits less carbon dioxide, he said.
While testing fuel cell-powered vehicles, Honda is also aiming to use solar cells as an energy source in a test project in the United States for next-generation gas stations for hydrogen made from water to power such vehicles, he said.
Honda Soltec Co, a wholly owned subsidiary based in Kumamoto prefecture, southern Japan, started producing solar panels in October 2007 and has so far sold panels for some 100 domestic households for slightly less than 2 million yen ($18,200), each with capacity of about 3 kilo watts.