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Companies Add Solar Roof to Plug-in Prius

Solera, Veridian and Hymotion recently completed the second phase of the conversion of a Prius to a solar-augmented, V2G plug-in hybrid with the addition of the solar panel sunroof. (Earlier post.)

Three roof-mounted solar panels will generate up to 240 watts in full sunshine. The panels utilize cells manufactured to Solera’s specification by Open Energy Corp. The new sunroof can contribute enough energy to allow the vehicle to travel up to an additional 14 km in electric-only mode on a sunny, summer day.

Work on the Vehicle to Grid interface (V2G), which may include emergency home generation and grid support, will be the next phase of the project.

The plug-in hybrid solar electric vehicle project is being supported in part by the LDC (Local Distribution Company) Tomorrow Fund, a utility industry fund established to finance research projects that advance innovation in Ontario’s electricity distribution sector.



Hmm, as long as the Prius is NOT parked under a solar car-port :)


This is just too stupid! On a long summer day you could
gather a whopping 2kwh!


While I agree that it's probably better to stick the panels on your roof and use net metering, hey, why not. Doesn't hurt to try these things. If you commuted to work each day with a PHEV to a lot with no sockets this could help out. 14km isn't chicken feed on a daily basis. I can't see implementing this on my bike (folding panel?)


Not stupid. I'm 3.5 miles from work. Put some decent cells up there like Sunpower and it could really add up over time......never pay for itself. Because I'm a rich guy I would still do it.
The great thing about globalization is that it really is the age of the individual. Total independence from the grid and oil companys is at hand and to think just 8 years ago I thought differently. What a simpleton I am.

B. vdM

Man, this lack of a viable electric car is getting more and more ridiculous each day. What do you have to do, buy a Prius and gut the ICE?


What's the loss in MPG due to weight and altered aerodynamics? How "shady" does your geography have to be for this thing to result in lower fuel efficiency?

Still, I like it. It's all part of the experimentation and innovation process, and it will only become more efficient as solar cells get cheaper, lighter, and more malleable.


14km is a great start. Remember this is only with cells on the roof. There is no need to see out of the windscreen when parked, so further cells could be deployed at the flick of a switch on parking to extend and cover the windscreen and bonnet, as far as the bumper, giving 3 times the amount of area for cells.

42 km per day (14 x 3) would be very useful.

Also, ditto jojo about the benefits of using 20.4% efficient Sunpower cells instead.


This might make up for the battery losses just sitting there. Or, if you are parked for days in an airport parking lot, it could add some miles to the range.


I'm still waiting for the real cost of the embedded energy and CO2 produced in making a virgin silicon solar PV panel. I hear it takes 10+ years for the panel to offset the carbon footprint it took to make it.

A better solution is to make PV solar panels from a mining waste product called cadmium telluride which is laying around all over the Colorado mining towns polluting the ground and surface water.

Better still, use the "fresh" solar electrons as DC ventilation and don't store or contort any electrons into AC and try cramming them into the grid or charge any vehicle with them.

DC solar ventilation from CdTd solar panels make the most economic and environmental sense of any solar future. Anything else I think contributes more to GHG's
than it solves.

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