Feeds

Prius hybrid to get rooftop solar panel

A £20 one from Maplins would do just as well

SANS - Survey on application security programs

Motor mammoth Toyota, maker of the famed Prius hybrid car, is rumoured to be thinking about fitting some new Prius models with solar panels. The possible move is unlikely to seriously affect the car's fuel consumption, however, and is being seen by some as a PR stunt.

Toyota is offering no official comment on the suggestions, which were first reported in Japanese business daily Nikkei. However, Reuters quotes an anonymous source "briefed on the matter" as saying that the plans were "a symbolic gesture" which would do little more than provide part of the power used by the Prius' air conditioning.

"It's very difficult to power much more than that with solar energy," added the informant.

This view certainly squares with the well-understood performance of solar panels, especially small ones which can be fitted onto a car roof (as the Prius ones will reportedly be). Such panels can already be bought as accessories, and one was also included in the recent "Provoq" concept fuel-cell hybrid design from GM. In neither case can large amounts of power - suited to actually propelling a car, rather than running ancillary electronics - be harvested in a reasonably short time. You'd have to leave your car parked in the sun for ages to charge up even a normal car battery, let alone one which could actually drive the car usefully. (Which the Prius' can't, by the way. Toyota has thus far turned its face resolutely away from cars which can store enough electricity to make journeys solely on battery power.)

Panels of this kind are still useful, however, as they can prevent a car's battery running flat while parked due to the constant trickle of power used by security systems and so forth. With a heftier hybrid battery, you might also be able to run the air-con for a bit longer while stationary before the engine had to fire up. This is probably all that Toyota actually intends to offer.

However, the Prius remains the only car being driven globally which is actually different from normal internal combustion jobs in its power-train engineering. Thus it attracts a great deal of eco-hype and attention, and the addition of a solar panel - even though it won't offer a lot more benefit than a twenty quid job from Maplins slipped into your sunroof shutter - will perhaps be seen as justifying a substantially bigger markup on the car price. ®

3 Big data security analytics techniques

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
So, just how do you say 'the mutt's nuts' in French?
Vital linguistic question interrupts LOHAN spaceplane mission
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
STEALTHY NANOROBOTS dress up as viruses, prepare to sneak into YOUR BODY
Cloaking techniques nicked from viruses tackle roadblocks on way to medical frontier
prev story

Whitepapers

Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.