Toyota Prius gets slathered in solar panels in the name of efficiency.
The short version:
- Toyota is working on a Prius covered in solar panels to increase range.
- The automaker is working with NEDO and Sharp to conduct the demos, with the latter contributing the solar panels for the hood, roof, rear window and spoiler.
- The Sharp solar panels also have a far more efficient conversion rate of 34% compared with a more standard 22.5%.
- Initial tests found the system was able to add 35 additional miles to the Prius’ range.
The article makes the point that right now the benefits of the system don’t justify the cost. That could be said about any prototype. If people didn’t make these initial investments we would never have affordable computers, cellphones, produce, or a thousand other things. Keep the R&D money flowing.