Solar Powered Toyota Prius being launched by Toyota Motors
Toyota Motor Corp is experimenting with a sun-powered Prius that it hopes will one day require no plugging in.
In the Japanese government-funded demonstration project, Toyota engineers fitted solar panels designed by Sharp Corp to the hood, roof, rear window and spoiler to see how much juice the sun can generate.
The electricity from the panels goes directly to the drive battery, so the Prius can charge while moving or when parked.
On a good day, the charge can be sufficient for up to 56 kilometres (35 miles) of travel, more than the 47 kilometres driven a day by the average American, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.