On the heels of our Prius article on New Year’s Eve, Candace Lombardi writes in CNET News/Greentech today that newspapers in Japan are reporting that Toyota is going to introduce a solar-powered Prius. http://news.cnet.com/8301-11128_3-10130380-54.html?part=rss&subj=news&tag=2547-1_3-0-20
Later this morning, Michael Kanellos had his say in Seeking Alpha. His take has a healthy dose of skepticism as Lombardi’s does, but his take is more “practical,” based on what he see as possible. http://seekingalpha.com/article/112980-toyota-examining-the-solar-car-rumors?source=feed
Westlake Village, CA-based Solar Electric Vehicles (http://www.solarelectricalvehicles.com/) has been retrofitting Prius models for a while, and claims to be able to install a solar roof in 2-3 hours. The roof then acts to recharge the NiMH HEV battery pack, adding to the charges generated by the brake system. SEV claims a 29% fuel economy addition.
Ms Lombardi points out that solar rumors tend to pop up when days are dark for Toyota. But given its leadership in the field of EVs and HEVs, one assumes some “trial balloons” will be released from time to time.