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Toyota using Kyocera solar panels

A solar panel from Kyocera is now an option on the newest Toyota Prius hybrid car. The “solar panel moonroof” is composed of 36 cells that generates 50 watts of power to help ventilate the car. Toyota scrapped the idea of using the solar panel to charge the car’s battery due to the stress constant charging and discharging has on batteries.

The solar panel moonroof option costs $2,076 and has an efficiency of 16.5% but since it does not charge the battery directly and sole purpose of the solar electric system on the Prius is to power the air ventilation system the return on investment on the solar panel moonroof is quite non-existent. I suppose this option is more for show than practicality, wouldn’t you agree? How could have Toyota leveraged the power generated by solar panel moonroof more effectively?

Author: Deep Patel

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