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Solar Powered Cars: Are they Cost Effective Yet?

Avatar for Dave Llorens
Published on 10/29/2007 in
Updated 12/10/2018

So you probably saw our posting about the makeshift solar powered Prius and also the guy who stretched his prius into a limo that Dan wrote a few days ago. Well this post is about the company that is now offering kits to turn any new production Toyota Prius into a solar powered car. This post goes over what we like most…. Does it make dollar sense?

The company is I requested a quote for my new prius (that I’m seriously thinking of getting). Here was their response:

“Thank you for the interest in the solar charging system developed by Solar Electric Vehicles ( Our solar charging system is unique to the market because its one of few aftermarket upgrades that actually pays for itself over time. We are currently only offering the kit for the 2004 to 2007 Toyota Prius. At this point, we are also planning to adapt the solar roof to other vehicles. We are taking reservations for a production toward the end of the year. (Production will commence once 30 pre-orders are received each with a $500 deposit). If you are interested in proceeding, please contact Greg Johanson directly (805-497-9808 x102) to place the order and inquire as to program specifics.

The solar charging system (patent pending) was developed to enable the Toyota Prius with hybrid synergy drive (HSD) to drive for extended miles in the “EV mode”. The stock Prius has up to 2 miles of EV mode driving but the cars equipped with our solar charging system have up to 20 miles of EV mode driving range per day. This extended EV mode driving range translates to an increase in average fuel economy of up to 70 miles per gallon.

In order to provide additional information on the system and its benefits, please let me know what you are looking for (system specifications, ROI, etc…). The system starts at $4500, which includes the solar modules, electronics, and a 2.3 sealed lead acid battery. The 120 VAC plug-in is an additional $1000. We do not install the kits at this point in time, but recommend that you consult your local mechanic. Installation should take about one to two days.

For more information about our research & development data, statistics, and module composition, please read the “white article” found on our website.

Also, a streaming video clip from KTLA news can be found on youtube if you search solar powered prius…

You can also purchase additional batteries at EDrive in Pasadena, CA through Greg Hansen. They can provide a plug-in to home system as well.

If you live out of state/country, F.O.B. (freight on board), Westlake Village, CA charges and sales tax will be additional. DVD and installation manual to be included with roof shipment.

Your TOTAL SOLAR SOLUTION is a residential or commercial solar electrical system coupled with a plug-in electric of hybrid vehicle. The solar system provides clean, renewable solar energy for your home or office, and allows you to use that same solar energy to charge your vehicle at night. New utility time-of-use electric rates magnify your savings, because you get the most credit for the solar energy you feed back into the grid during peak middle-of-day use hours. When you charge your vehicle at night, you pay the lowest electric rates and charge your car with your solar system’s credits. Adding one kilowatt to your solar electrical system will provide you with enough additional energy for 30 solar powered mile per day for your EV car or plug-in hybrid.

Your TOTAL SOLAR SOLUTION can qualify for significant tax incentives that reduce the cost up to 80%. Call Solar Electrical Systems today and ask about the Total Solar Solution!

So bottom line, it’s $4.5 K and $5.5K if you want to be able to plug it in. Plus they don’t do the install themselves, so let’s add another $1K for install. I don’t need to work out the math specifics…. but you’re not going to recoup $6500 over the life of the car unless oil jumps from $80 to $400 a barrel. HOWEVER, we haven’t looked at our favorite things yet…. Solar Incentives, Tax Credits, and Rebates!. So let’s have a peak…

Last modified: December 10, 2018

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PANGROUSITheo @ DIYHomeSolarPanels.orgSolar Energy AdvantagesMike Fullermike @ car warranty extended Recent comment authors
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Theo @
Theo @

I think that an actual cost effective solar powered car is a long way off at the moment but with the recent advances by toyota and a few other car manufacturers it is only a matter of time!

Solar Energy Advantages
Solar Energy Advantages

Very interesting article. I was wondering if this system will work on any other hybrids besides the Toyota Prius. I have a Nissan Altima hybrid & absolutely love it.

Mike Fuller
Mike Fuller

With all the global issues that we have to embrace into our lives and our childrens lives, we should all do our part to help a least a little bit. Why not eliminate your Electrical Bill and Save Thousands a year with Solar Panels for your home, this will be an easy way for you to do your part in helping our planet and save a tonne of money.

mike @ car warranty extended
mike @ car warranty extended

Interesting post,sure looks like solar powered cars and electric cars are the future, our govermnet here in the U K has already announced that by 2020 there will be no cars runing on gas/petrol,as the big freeze bites hard here we are runing short of natural gas,so solar powered cars and homes get an A plus here.
Best Mike


i know this might sound like a stupid question, but is it possible for a truck with towing capacity to be solar powered and road worthy? i am no expert, so i am sorry if this sounds like a joke. but i am really very curious? And if there is none to speak of now, do you think it will be possible in the future?



Larry Brown
Larry Brown

Hello Sir/Ma,

Pls can you supplier me this item below.

Solar Panel

80 Watt (15pcs)


GES 30 Amp (10pcs)

GES 40 Amp (10pcs)


Larry Brown

Larry Holding





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