The Japan-spec Toyota Prius Prime plug-in hybrid will be coming with a full-length solar roof, produced by Panasonic. Panasonic states that the roof is a great improvement over previous solar automotive solar panels as the company has drastically improved its output.
This panel is able to churn out 180 watts of electricity, according to AutoBlog. This is adequate to power up the car accessories as well as charge the lithium-ion batteries.
Toyota reveals that this panel can increase about 3.7 miles of range a day to the car’s battery while parked and it will also aid in charging the battery while the car is moving.
What’s interesting is the fact that Panasonic is closely linked to Tesla as these companies develop batteries at the Gigafactory and they had even planned to collaborate on producing solar cells after Tesla acquired SolarCity.
However, this is more toward home solar panels. That said, Musk has disclosed his interest in venturing into automotive solar panels.
Back in November, the CEO discussed about the likelihood of a solar roof option for the Model 3 via Twitter but nothing solid was discussed. Seeing that Panasonic had said in its press release that the company is aiming to expand its automotive solar technology, Tesla’s Model 3 may be the next in line.