EDN Magazine says Toyota is planning on offering solar panels for the Prius. A solar cell guy in the comments says:
at 7/7/2008 2:01:13 PM, baldguy63 said:Competition. Warms the heart.
Solatec has had an equivalent PV system in development for 2 years for the Prius at approximately 1/2 the cost. The prototype currently has Konarka panels installed and they do indeed feed into the aux. battery whaenever the roof is exposed to sunlight. Although our gas savings on the prototype is only about 4 mpg, we are quite satisfied with the performance and reliability. Expect a production announcement soon.
Did any one note the time frame? Two years for development and to prepare for production. We are not going to beat our oil needs with some kind of magic home run. It will be done with numerous incremental improvements. Which will take time. The thing to remember is that it is a process.
Not cost effective you say? Consider it a hobby. If the hobbiests can bring up enough volume, costs will come down. Bottom up solutions are the best in any beginning stage development - usually. And right now we are at the beginning.