Toyota May Use Solar Panels in Next Generation Prius

Toyota might install solar panels on some of its next generation Prius hybrids, reports and Reuters.

According to Toyota’s unidentified source on this matter, the panels, supplied by Kyocera Corp, would be able to power part of the air-conditioning on high-end versions of the Prius.

"It’s more of a symbolic gesture," said the source, who asked not to be identified. "It’s very difficult to power much more than that with solar energy."

A Toyota spokesman declined comment, saying the company does not talk about future product plans.

Solar panels are still quite expensive though, so it will be interesting to see how much the panels will bump up the price of the already $20,000+ hybrid vehicle. Toyota’s third-generation Prius is scheduled to launch next year.