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View Full Version : Next gen Toyota Prius will have a solar panel roof


Hulk
01-28-2009, 03:58 PM
Check this out:

The 2010 Toyota Prius, due this spring, will have an optional solar panel on its roof (http://www.cnn.com/2009/TECH/01/28/solar.powered.cars/index.html?iref=mpstoryview)

farnhamstj
01-28-2009, 05:11 PM
I like the concept but why not pannel the hood and spoiler too?

DaveInDenver
01-28-2009, 08:32 PM
I like the concept but why not pannel the hood and spoiler too?
I'd bet it's a matter of shape and exposure to damage. PV panels are relatively fragile, so someone leaning on it might be a problem. But mostly I think it's that they can't fold them into tight edges like most hoods have to stiffen them.

BTW, pretty friggin' good idea. I've often thought all that real estate on top of the 'Nest would be ideal for changing an accessory battery. Too bad 7'x5' of solar panel would not be cheap.

ScaldedDog
01-28-2009, 11:13 PM
I'd much prefer a sunroof.

Mark

chtucker
01-28-2009, 11:31 PM
I like this... Run your house stuff when the power goes out off your Prius
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/02/automobiles/02POWER.html

Hulk
01-29-2009, 01:47 AM
I'd much prefer a sunroof.
Mark

Gotta say it -- I have a sunroof on my 80, and I hardly ever use it. It's one of the most overrated features ever.

But I still like my FJ40 best when it has no roof at all. :)

I like this... Run your house stuff when the power goes out off your Prius
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/02/automobiles/02POWER.html

That is way cool! :thumb:

Uncle Ben
01-29-2009, 03:46 AM
Gotta say it -- I have a sunroof on my 80, and I hardly ever use it. It's one of the most overrated features ever.

But I still like my FJ40 best when it has no roof at all. :)



That is way cool! :thumb:

Personal preference! I love the sun/moon roof on my 80.....I use it in all 4 seasons! When driving though scenic mountain areas I would not be happy if I couldn't see vertically!

Tch2fly
01-29-2009, 09:01 AM
I'd much prefer a sunroof.

Mark

The pic Matt posted is not of a production model. A moonroof is available with the solar.

I'm already planning to upgrade from our 05 to an 2010 model.

I am far more interested in the "pre-collision system" and new power modes:thumb:

2010 3rd gen Prius New features (http://www.toyota.com/vehicles/minisite/prius/#/new-features/)

Lars
01-29-2009, 09:07 AM
Personal preference! I love the sun/moon roof on my 80.....I use it in all 4 seasons! When driving though scenic mountain areas I would not be happy if I couldn't see vertically!


I agree, I love putting the back window down in the 4runner and having the sunroof open. Great feeling in the summer time.
:)

kvanoort
01-29-2009, 01:30 PM
It's about time. At the end of the day just dump the extra power back into the grid or use it at home.

PabloCruise
01-30-2009, 11:17 AM
Gotta say it -- I have a sunroof on my 80, and I hardly ever use it. It's one of the most overrated features ever.

But I still like my FJ40 best when it has no roof at all. :)



That is way cool! :thumb:

Oh no, I love the sun/moon roof on the Civic, use it every day I drive it.

But Matt has it correct, a topless 40 beats all!

Hulk
01-30-2009, 02:23 PM
I'm always worried about getting sunburnt on the bald spot on the top of my head. So I don't open the moonroof during the day.

I love the moonroof wide open in the summertime at night. The rest of the year, it's too cold to have it open at night.

I'm a redhead and I get sunburnt pretty easily. :|

nakman
03-25-2009, 03:13 PM
Toyota Battles Back In Hybrid Price War
By Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer
Manufacturing.Net (http://www.manufacturing.net/article.aspx?id=191350) - March 25, 2009

OYAMA, Japan (AP) -- Toyota's chief engineer, Akihiko Otsuka, chose a curvy test-drive course near Mount Fuji to show off the smooth handling of the prototype of the remodeled Prius hybrid, set to reach showrooms in May.

He proudly told reporters about its outstanding mileage -- 50 miles per gallon -- roof solar panel, collision safety features and how fun it was to drive.

But throughout the recent event at Fuji Speedway, Otsuka was just as intent on stressing how the Prius performed better than the new, hot-selling rival hybrid from Honda, the Insight. But he was surprised at the upstart's price -- $2,000 to $4,000 less than the current Prius model.

"It was lower than anything I had expected," he said with a little laugh. "Honda has done a great job."

Welcome to the new price war in hybrid vehicles.

Toyota's Prius, the long-reigning hybrid king, faces its toughest competition yet in the Insight, whose sales have already topped 21,000 in just a month and a half in Japan -- more than triple Honda Motor Co.'s target.

The Insight starts at 1.89 million yen ($19,000) in Japan, and $19,800 in the U.S., where it arrives in showrooms this month.

The current model of the Prius now sells for $22,000 in the U.S. and 2.3 million yen ($23,000) in Japan. The remodeled third-generation Prius is a bigger car with a more powerful engine than the current Prius and would have otherwise been expected to bear a higher price tag.

A hybrid offers savings at the gas pump because of its superior mileage that comes from switching between a gasoline engine and an electric motor. But they tended to be more expensive because of the motor, battery and other extra parts -- until the arrival of the Insight.

Otsuka said Toyota was considering pricing the new model lower than the current model, while declining to disclose the price. The stronger yen has made price-slashing difficult in the U.S. But he also said Toyota was well aware it wasn't a wise idea to set the U.S. price too much higher than the Japan price.

For the longer term, Toyota is also developing a smaller hybrid that will compete more directly with the Insight, he said.

He did not give details but said it would be a "Vitz-class" vehicle, a subcompact like the Yaris in the U.S. He said that would make for a more affordable addition to Toyota's lineup.

The Nikkei, Japan's major business daily, reported recently that the planned model would underprice the Insight, costing no more than a comparable regular car, and is expected to go on sale in 2011. It did not cite sources, which is standard for Japanese media reports.

The world's automakers have been working hard to develop hybrids although their appeal has subsided somewhat after oil prices have declined in recent months. Toyota's Prius is the global top-seller in gas-electric hybrids at a cumulative 1.2 million sold around the world since its 1997 debut.

Ford Motor Co. will soon release its Fusion hybrid, a midsize sedan. German automakers Daimler AG and BMW AG are also planning hybrids, although those models as luxury cars are likely to cost more than the humbler Prius and Insight.

The battle among hybrids comes amid a steep drop in auto demand that has hit Japan's top brands hard. Toyota is expecting a 350 billion yen ($3.67 billion) loss for the fiscal year through March -- its first such yearly red ink since 1950. Honda is forecasting an 87 percent fall in profit.

Still, there has been speculation in the Japanese media that Toyota would not only set the new Prius price lower than initially expected at about 2 million yen but that it will also continue to sell the current Prius, matching Insight's price.

It would be an unusual move in the industry, where old models are discontinued. Toyota declined comment on the reports.

"The popularity of hybrids is going to pick up momentum very quickly because of their low prices," said Yasuaki Iwamoto, analyst with Okasan Securities Co. in Tokyo.

But the price war will also cut into profit margins from hybrids, already slimmer than those from regular vehicles, Iwamoto said.

Toyota has also cut costs required to make its hybrid system by about 20 percent to 35 percent, Otsuka said, while not giving specific numbers. To keep the starting price tag low, frills and perks for the new Prius will likely be offered as options, according to Toyota.

Norio Ano, a Honda official overseeing Insight's development, said Wednesday that further cost-cutting and leaner production would be needed at Honda, if Prius is going to be priced close to the Insight.

"We will have to go back to scratch and review all our procedures from step one," he said. "It's hats off to Toyota if they can make it work as a business at the prices being reported."

An ingenious feature of the Prius is the solar panel on the roof, which powers an air-ventillation fan that works automatically while the car is parked so you don't have to get into an uncomfortably hot car.

Otsuka wasn't shy about his determination not to get beaten by the Insight.

It's no accident the marketing slogan for the new Prius is, "the only hybrid for the earth," he said. He really believes Prius will continue to be the best in mileage, drivability and brand power.

The Insight gets 40 miles per gallon in city driving and 43 mpg on highways, not as good as the 48 mpg in city driving and 45 mph on highways for the Prius already on sale. The revamped Prius gets 50 mpg, according to Toyota.

"We almost gave up on reaching our goal for mileage but we stuck to it," Otsuka said. "The Prius is the iconic hybrid."