Panasonic has developed a solar photovoltaic car roof for the Toyota Prius plug-in hybrid vehicle that makes 180 watts of power, which us enough to recharge the lithium-ion powertrain battery and the standard 12-volt lead-acid battery, given time. The ‘HIT Photovoltaic Module for Automobile’ increases the car’s drivetrain efficiency by about 10 percent, adding up to an additional 2.2 miles of range per day ‘under ideal conditions,’ reports emerging-technologies Web magazine New Atlas. Currently available only in Japan and Europe, the option costs just shy of US $2,000 and involves removing the vehicle’s head-up display, blind-spot monitor and rear cross-traffic alert systems. Panasonic might provide a similar sunroof for the upcoming Tesla Model 3 sedan.

A new solar roof will help the plug-in Prius hybrid recharge itself. (PHOTO: TOYOTA)

Solar roof adds 10 percent more drivetrain efficiency: