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Can a combination of solar and petrol/diesel engine be used ?

Well, its a simple question. Can we build such a type of engine which can run both on solar power and petrol/diesel ? In big cities, the level of pollution is ever rising due to increase in the usage of automobiles. Also in populous countries like India, frequent traffic jams occur. This results in the high wastage of fuels. If we can design a car which runs both on petrol and solar energy, such that, in the traffic, we can use solar power to run the automobiles and on highways we can switch to petrol. There is one drawback to in the solar powered cars which can probably be en cashed. These cars may not move with high speeds. So, if we can use solar power in heavy traffic, which does not require high speeds and if there is a traffic jam, atmospheric pollution can be minimized. So on highways we can switch to petrol or diesel mode and can move faster. Can these kind of engines be designed. If yes, then how ? and if no, then why ? Hope there would be a constructive conversation. Thankyou.

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    Mar 13 2013: That would be a modified* hybrid, or plugin hybrid.
    (*With the “modification” being adding solar panels that recharge the main battery.)

    Actually plugin hybrids are fairly new to the market and currently costly. I believe VW has come out with a 200mpg diesel hybrid, so I foresee diesel hybrid being next stage in the evolution.

    FYI: I don’t know about all hybrids but my Honda Civic hybrid has what they call auto-stop.
    Basically because the electric motor starts the engine, instead of the spark plugs the engine does no need to crank to start. So when braking the engine turns off and smoothly turns back on when the brake is released. I love not needing to pray for the engine to turn-over/start on cold mornings.

    Also the reason Honda’s get better gas mileage on highways (unlike a lot of hybrids) is because of its automatic veritable cylinders. So when going down the highway it will turn off unneeded cylinders, it can even turn off all four and just let the electric motor provide the power.

    I may be wrong I think currently the because of the weight of solar, the loss in mileage from the extra weight would be greater than mileage gained form the extra charge the solar would give the battery.