Toyota Adds Solar Power To Hybrid

from the what's-wrong-with-wind-power? dept

Toyota, already considered a leader in producing hybrid gas-electric vehicles is apparently preparing to make that hybrid a bit more hybrid: it's going to add solar panels to some models, using the solar energy to power air conditioning. It's not much, but it's a start. I've actually been fascinated with solar vehicles since the fifth grade (yikes) when I convinced some engineers at GM to send me some cheap solar panels to build a tiny solar-powered car (Chrysler ignored my letter, Ford sent a form letter in response). While GM had invested in some prototypes and took part in various solar powered car contests, the technology has never been good enough to do very much at a practical level. Now, how long will it be until Toyota figures out a way to use wind power as well?

Filed Under: hybrid cars, prius, solar power
Companies: toyota


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  1. identicon
    Rick, 7 Jul 2008 @ 4:56pm

    Prius Silly Solar Panel

    This panel is being marketed as aiding the airconditioning. However it will provide only about 10% of the power the AC uses in optimal sun.

    In fact there have been longstanding issues with the Prius starter battery drain problem (incidently the Hybrid Camry, which I own - has it's own starter battery drain issues).

    So this panel PROBABLY is intended to resolve a Toyota design problem by jacking the price further up (and adding yet another item with maintenance issues).

    But hey in the religion of Man-Caused Global Warming (AGW) any bandaid can be sold. Just ask Al 'Offset' Gore!

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