Throughout my life, one of the unmistakeable signs of summer has been the hot car – you know what I mean.
You’ve left the car unattended and closed up for an hour, come back and had to climb inside a furnace.
It’s amazing how hot a car can get when closed up in the sun. Toyota has now found a solution to this problem that is beautiful in its elegance and simplicity.
Solar panels in the roof powering cooling fans inside the car.
That’s right – the latest Toyota Prius has an optional solar panel system that is used to power fans inside the car – keeping it cool on hot days. Although the solar panel upgrade comes in at a fairly steep £1,450, it’s the principle that counts.
New features like this are always expensive at first but they always get cheaper with time, assuming they are successful. This sounds like a sure-fire winner to me, and over time, it will become more affordable. Just like air conditioning, electric windows, CD changers, electric heated mirrors and all of the other convenience/luxury features that have filtered down from top-end luxury cars, where they first appeared.
An added bonus is the energy efficiency of this solution – using less power than the air con would to bring the temperature of the car down to an acceptable level.
Kudos to Toyota for being the first, I guarantee they won’t be the last.
Note: To make the solar panel package a bit more attractive, Toyota will be bundling remote control air conditioning with it – so you can fire up the AC a few minutes before you get in the car. Although this may not be the greenest of options, it certainly will be tempting!