Toyota looks toward a bright, eco-friendly future with a Solar-Powered Toyota Prius concept

Sunny summer days are in abundance here in the greater Cleveland area, and while that makes for great traveling weather, all that extra driving can take its toll on your fuel economy. But what if cruising around Cleveland Heights and Parma on a sunny day could actually send the fuel gauge on your car skyrocketing? It may sound like the stuff of science fiction, but that may soon be a reality with the Solar-Powered Toyota Prius.

Now, solar power cell technology has been around for a while now, so the solar-powered Toyota Prius is far from the first solar-powered vehicle ever conceived of. However, for a long time now, solar cells have simply been too big and bulky to be practically applied to vehicles, negating any energy savings they might have netted.

Fortunately, the new Solar-Powered Toyota Prius doesn't use the average solar cells you'd see mounted on houses and buildings. Leveraging thin film solar cells that are roughly a thousandth of an inch thick, the solar-powered Toyota Prius concept can affix these power-generating cells to its roof, hood, and even rear hatch door. This allows the solar panels to generate up to 860 watts of power.

Now, that's not nearly enough to power the Toyota Prius in total yet, but the Toyota engineering team hopes it will help alleviate some of the "range anxiety" that prospective electric vehicle buyers suffer.

Now, the Solar-Powered Toyota Prius is just a concept right now, and it'll be a while yet before this sort of technology is made commercially available, but given how quickly Toyota turns its eco-friendly technology concepts into reality, we wouldn't be surprised if something like this concept showed up at our Toyota dealership near North Olmstead and Brunswick in the near future.

For more updates on innovations that Toyota has in its pipeline, make sure to stay tuned to the Metro Toyota blog. On the other hand, if you're itching to try out some of the new hybrid and electric Toyota models we've got in stock today, drop in to our Brook Park, OH showroom for a test drive.

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