It goes without saying that the cost of living has just increased exponentially over the years, no thanks to inflation as well as rising energy costs. With oil surpassing the magical $100 a barrel mark and seemingly touching virtually new historical highs every day, it seems that the future economic picture is one of doom and gloom all over the world, never mind if you’re an economic giant or a dwarf at this point in time. Automaker Toyota wants to help us free ourselves from the addiction of oil when it comes to cars with their Prius, and they have done a commendable job in the past. Good thing they’re always forward thinking, which leads us to today’s story of new Prius models that will feature energy-catching solar panels on its roof. These new models are tipped to hit the streets come spring 2009.
According to Toyota, these new panels will help power the Prius’ electronics, with the air conditioning system sipping most of this green energy as it requires anywhere from two to five kilowatts of energy to run. Other than that, details are pretty scant, but it is encouraging to see Toyota not give up the good fight against polluting the environment, and a third-generation redesigned Prius is testament to that commitment. In addition to the solar panels, the Prius is also able to capture kinetic energy normally lost during braking, while the gasoline engine can be used to charge its battery. You will find your mileage increase greatly compared to your old jalopy since the Prius thrives on electric power whenever it’s most efficient to do so.
Some might think that this “improvement” is but a gimmick, ripping off solar panels from somewhere else and tacking it onto the vehicle. I prefer to look at it from a more positive perspective that we’re moving forward in keeping the earth for our next generation.
Source: Tech News World