Toyota plans to go even more “green” with its hybrid Prius, offering solar panels as a high-end option beginning with the 2009 model year, reports Reuters. And, although the panels will do little more than help power the air conditioning system, Toyota’s move shows just how far automakers are willing to go to engineer greener vehicles.
The Prius is due to be redesigned next year. A price for the solar option hasn’t been announced but, due to the increasing cost of the silicone panels, experts say it’s likely to be pricey. And solar skeptics remain. Said one: "It's an interesting idea, but it would be very difficult to power a whole car, even with technological advances."