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Toyota to Add Solar Panels to Prius Hybrids

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posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 04:57 AM
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Toyota to Add Solar Panels to Prius Hybrids


www.foxnews.com

Toyota Motor Corp. plans to add solar panels to its popular Prius hybrid early next year to power the vehicle's air conditioning, a newspaper report said Monday.

As part of a complete design makeover, the Prius will be fitted with rooftop solar panels on its high-end models, the Nikkei economic daily reported.

"It's more of a symbolic gesture," said the unidentified source. "It's very difficult to power much more than that with solar energy."

Toyota, who declined comment on the report, would be the first major carmaker to use a solar power generation system on a mass-produced vehicle.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 04:57 AM
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This is great... I am glad they are pushing the envelope.. finally... It may not sound like a big deal.. but I used to sell these Toyotas and I had to learn all about the hybrid systems.. The difference between the Prius and other hybrids was that the other hybrids were only partial which meant that in any other hybrid model if you had the AC on the engine was going to be running.. With the Prius, you can turn on the AC and the engine will stay off.. but that of course drains the batteries.. so this will enable them to be that much more efficient.. I say KUDOs to Toyota.. I wish some US companies would realize were the money is to be made and make a real hybrid.. not a Suburban hybrid that gets 1/3 of what the Prius gets....

www.foxnews.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 09:01 AM
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Originally posted by ats1629

Toyota to Add Solar Panels to Prius Hybrids


www.foxnews.com

..."It's more of a symbolic gesture," said the unidentified source. "It's very difficult to power much more than that with solar energy."
(visit the link for the full news article)


Strange.... my nephew powers his entire house on two 4'x8' (approximate) solar panels. He says he generates more electricity than he can use on most days.



posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 09:47 AM
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reply to post by sir_chancealot
 


I doubt these panels are going to be big at all given the limited real estate on the roof of the car which is already pretty small. Now is you used the roof of say a chevy tahoe hybrid that may be something. But to power the a/c unit you may not need much.

Also because of the limited amount of engine horsepower Hybrids take a big hit when the A/C is on, in our Civic Hybrid it can be anywhere from 10-15 percent

Our Civic Hybrid is averaging about 36 miles in mixed city driving. Now we drive it normally with none of the fuel saving methods many hybrid drives adopt so we suffer a bit and we use the a/c alot so for us this feature would make a difference.


We are eagerly awaiting the Plug in Prius which we will get as soon as its avalible. The appeal of 75 mpg is awesum.



posted on Jul, 7 2008 @ 10:23 AM
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reply to post by ats1629
 

Solar powered air conditioning? Brilliant! I would love to see something like that for my house. It would definitely improve my standard of living, especially on a hot Florida day like today!

What I especially like about this is that you need air conditioning the most on bright sunny days. This makes the application of solar power to air conditioning very practical in my mind. I am surprised that you can't get these right now from any hardware store (or maybe not so surprised.)

How much wasted real-estate is there on the roof of all the Walmarts in the world? It would be nice if Walmart used that surface area to cool their stores.

One more note: I can see how the Honda FCX, new fuel cell car, could be charged with solar power. Honda is offering a home refueling station that runs on natural gas. Why not make it solar powered?

automobiles.honda.com...

That seems to make enormous market sense to me -- you could recharge your car at home using solar power. It directly answers one of the major criticisms of solar power, which is how to store this power when the sun is not shining.



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