Toyota is working on a solar powered car that will eventually lead to a car that is solely powered by the sun and electricity. CNBC reports that the first version will be powered by solar cells on the car itself as well as from solar panels installed on homes (or electricity from the grid itself). The aim is to eventually develop a car that is solely charged through solar cells on the car itself. Toyota is also noting that it will not be cutting back on its environmental research despite the fact that it posted its first quarterly loss last quarter.

On the flip side Iran is now calling for an oil boycott of countries that are supporting Israel in its Gaza action against Hamas terrorists. This action along with Russia’s little row with Ukraine over the amount of a natural gas bill is driving oil back up — with the current value at $48 per barrel. As CNBC reports

An Iranian military commander called on Islamic countries to cut oil exports to Israel’s supporters in response to the offensive in Gaza, the official IRNA news agency reported.

“Pointing at Westerners’ dependence on the Islamic countries’ oil and energy resources, he (Bagherzadeh) called for cutting the export of crude oil to the Zionist regime’s supporters the world over,” IRNA said, referring to Israel.

(“Oil Prices Surge Above $48 on Gaza, Russian Gas Row“, CNBC, January 4, 2009)

Personally, I can’t imagine a dumber move on the part of Iran’s government (ok…yes I can, but this one is certainly one of the dumber moves if they actually do it) given that they rely very, very heavily on oil revenue and there are other oil producing countries out there who would love to increase their production and take market share from Iran and Co. to fill their coffers — even if oil is pretty low on the overall cost scale.

What we need to do is to work harder to encourage efforts such as what Toyota is doing to reduce the influence and power of petro-dictators like Iran’s Ahmadinejad and Russia’s Putin.