Toyota Prius Will Have Solar Panels by Next Year

The story is not new, but I had to say my opinion on it. Toyota Motor Corp. announced that it will introduce an air conditioning system based on solar energy to the new Prius models next year. General Motors (GM), on the other hand, will launch the small environment-friendly Chevrolet Beat.

Although Toyota representatives did not disclose their plans, the manufacturer will also introduce solar panels produced by Kyocera Corp., on the Toyota Prius roof that will generate energy necessary to the air conditioning operation.

In Detroit, GM representatives say that the launching of Chevrolet Beat in the United States is one of the options that the companies are studying regarding  the increasing demands of hybrid vehicles and fuel price increase.

The model Chevrolet Beat could be the second smallest car from the U.S. after Smart Daimler and will be built entirely in South Korea.

GM and other auto manufacturers from the U.S are fighting to cope with the rapid changes taking place on the market: “U.S. consumer preferences are changing drastically,” said John A. Casesa, managerial partner of Casesa Shapiro Group, a commercial bank specializing in automotive industry.

About the plans to install solar panels on the Toyota Prius roof, Casesa said that such a development would not be revolutionary because many auto producers explore solar energy in order to reduce energy consumption.

Indeed, Toyota would better not follow the petrolish-style of hiding the hat, and postpone or minimize the importance of solar power in such a “green” vehicle. Green vehicles do not only have air-conditioning, which is not always useful to the user. The air conditioning can use the main power supply to function, and the solar panels can do that too, but in reverse effect (to charge the battery). The overall power increase is the same, but the car’s efficiency when air conditioning isn’t used is much greater.

So, Toyota, beware, there are a lot of other green cars out there, and buying a hybrid vehicle at this time is not an option for the poor or medium class, who couldn’t afford $50 per gallon! Pure electric vehicles are in the scope of the world, and even hybrid ones become an unfeasible option for those who can lease such cars. Everybody’s waiting to go electric, not powering only their A/C from the Sun!

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Comments

  • I believe the Mercedez Benz already has that option a few years ago.