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Prius to go Solar

Posted by mhudema on July 7, 2008

Toyota Prius to go solar

Solar panels

Top-end versions of the Toyota Prius hybrid are set to receive rooftop solar panels.

News agency Reuters reports that the Japanese giant intends to install solar cells in order to power the air conditioning unit.

Silicon prices are currently rising, pushing up the cost of solar panels.

At this stage, it is unclear how much the solar-panelled versions would cost.

The third generation of Toyota Prius with a petrol-electric hybrid powertrain is due to reach the market in 2009.

Over 1 million Prius cars have been sold, with the strong demand for ‘green’ vehicles accelerating thanks to high oil prices.

An unnamed source within Toyota said the use of solar panels was “more of a symbolic gesture”.

The limits of the technology currently make a car powered entirely by solar energy unfeasible.

“Even if you laid solar panels out on the entire roof of a house, you only generate enough energy to run two hair dryers,” said Kentaro Endo, a Japanese specialist in renewable energy.


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