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PHOTO CAPTION: Toyota Prius with solar panels on roof that provide 165 watts of power per hour, not enough to propel the car more than a couple miles.

Solar-Powered Cars Still a Ways Ahead

Solar Electric Vehicles sells its version of a plug-in Prius, with a solar panel installed, for $25,000.

Published: 30-Jan-2009

Toyota's third-generation Prius, due at dealerships this spring, will have an optional solar panel on its roof. The panel will power a ventilation system that can cool the car without help from the engine, Toyota says.

But it's a long way from the 2010 Prius to a solar-powered car, experts told CNN. Most agree that there just isn't enough space on a production car to get full power from solar panels.

"Being able to power a car entirely with solar is a pretty far-reaching goal," said Tony Markel, a senior engineer at the federal government's National Renewable Energy Lab in Golden, Colorado.

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