Toyota plans Prius with solar panels

Automaker plans to install solar panels on the roof of the next generation of the hybrid cars, using the energy collected to power the car's air conditioning, the Nikkei newspaper reports.

Toyota plans to install solar panels on the roof of the next generation of Prius hybrid cars, according to a report in Monday's edition of the Nikkei newspaper.

The panels, which are expected to begin appearing on the high-end version of the gasoline-electric hybrid car as early as next spring, will supply part of the 2 to 5 kilowatts needed to power the air conditioning, MarketWatch cited the Japanese business daily as reporting. Kyocera will reportedly supply the panels.

The move would make Toyota the first major automaker to incorporate a solar-power generation system into a mass-produced car.

Prius was introduced in 1997 and has since sold more than 1 million vehicles worldwide. The car was redesigned in 2003, and a third generation has been widely expected to appear soon.

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