Toyota has actually revealed a solar paneled roofing option will soon be offered on its present plug-in version of the Prius hatch that in some markets is called the Prius Prime.
Charging the automobile when parked, the recent option improves the electric-only range by at least 10 per cent in regular conditions, Toyota states. This would mean the new plug-in would need to around 55km on pure-electric power at speeds of as much as 135km/h.
In addition to increasing the range, the roofing system panels likewise power the lamps, windows and air conditioning when the car is running, reducing fuel consumption even when not operating on pure-electric power.
At first, the new option will be provided on vehicles sold in Europe and Japan however not Australia following Toyota Australia’s decision not to import plug-in variants.
The United States market will also be rejected the technology as the reinforced glass solar panels do not satisfy America’s stringent rollover crash tests. Toyota states it’s now working on a United States crash-test option.
Solar roofing system panels will also soon function on other Toyota hybrid vehicles, states the company, once the preliminary high costs of production have been lowered.
Other automakers, including Audi, has provided solar energy functions in its vehicles in the past however not, declares Toyota, to the level of the new Prius.