Panasonic Shows Off New Solar Roof For Japanese Toyota Prius Prime

While the integration of solar cells into the roofs of consumer vehicles has always generated a fair amount of criticism — owing to the cost-to-benefit ratio — the idea is still one that grabs many people’s attention.

Panasonic apparently took some of the common criticisms of the idea into account with the creation of its new solar roof for theJapanese version of the Toyota Prius Prime, with the company claiming that it’s new setup is capable of generating up to 180 watts, not bad for a solar roof.

Toyota claims that the solar roof can provide the Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid (PHEV) with around 3.7 miles of range a day when parked outside. Notably, the panel doesn’t change the shape of the Prius Prime’s roof — the contours and drag coefficient are the same.

Autoblog provides some interesting context:

“Something that makes this rather interesting is that Panasonic has very close ties to Tesla. The companies build batteries at the Gigafactory, and they planned to work on solar cells after Tesla acquired SolarCity. That particular collaboration seemed oriented towards the home solar panel market, particularly with the presentation of Tesla’s solar roof tiles. However, Elon Musk has expressed interest in automotive solar panels.

“In November, Musk talked about the possibility of a solar roof option for the Model 3 on Twitter. Nothing concrete was discussed, but the possibility seems stronger now in light of the Panasonic announcement. Panasonic also said in its press release that the company is looking to expand the availability of its automotive solar technology. It would seem like the the Model 3 would be the perfect opportunity for both companies.” http://bit.ly/2lwvexi

Senate confirms Rick Perry to lead Department of Energy

AUTHOR- Robert Walton, Gavin Bade

The U.S. Senate has confirmed former Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) to head the Department of Energy, where he will oversee the nation’s nuclear weapons program as well as research into clean energy and other advanced technologies. Read more, Click here.

Take a HIKE!

 

Longer days, warmer weather and the emerging spring wildflowers are sure signs that spring is here. Join us on Saturday, March 18 to welcome the new season. Whether you are looking for a short nature trail or an adventurous, all-day endeavor through a park’s most remote stretches, you’ll find what you’re looking for at a Tennessee State Park.

See full schedule HERE.

Are you ready to put the sun to work for you? The combination of falling prices, financial incentives, and increasing environmental awareness makes solar power a tempting option for running your home or business. In some arrangements, you could even sell some of your unused power back to the utility company — a nice switch indeed.