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Solar roof missing in action

Discussion in 'Gen 5 Prius Main Forum' started by Gokhan, Feb 24, 2024.

  1. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    Currently, there seem to be no Prius Primes with a solar roof in the inventory. I doubt more than a dozen or so have been sold in the USA so far. Note that a solar roof is only offered as an option on the XSE Premium trim.

    Does anyone here have a solar roof? Why is Toyota not offering more Prius Primes with a solar roof?
     
  2. Trollbait

    Trollbait It's a D&D thing

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    Maybe because gas is cheap here, so they save the solar parts for cars going to Japan and Europe.
     
  3. dbstoo

    dbstoo Senior Member

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    Evidently, the solar roof is a port installed option. I suspect that it will make the car harder to sell if the seller cancels out after the modification is completed. It adds extra cost to the car (over $600) and has a payback of 50 cents or so per day.

    The solar option seems like a good option to have, especially if we ever have another oil embargo , shortage or power grid failure. Even if it only adds 3 or 4 miles per day to the Prime's battery, that's enough to get you around town to run errands or to reach the nearest gas station. If you drive the car around town once every 3 days you will usually have a decent state of charge when you need it WITHOUT worrying about what the Power company is doing to your electrical supply.
     
  4. RandyPete

    RandyPete Member

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    That 3 or 4 miles per day will only get me 1/2 way to town..........
     
  5. Paul Gregory

    Paul Gregory Member

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    Because it's a bit of a silly idea. The amount of electricity from it is minuscule.
     
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  6. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    How can something as complicated as a solar-roof system can be a port-installed option? The cars with solar roofs don't even have the same PHEV battery as far as I remember. It also has other parts that go into the car.
     
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  7. Beach Dweller

    Beach Dweller Junior Member

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    If I could have found one, I would have bought it. I wanted the added power produced to run the AC as it is a necessity down here on the coast. Couldn’t find one.
    I also don’t think it’s a port installed option, rather comes from Toyota that way.
     
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  8. dbstoo

    dbstoo Senior Member

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    While that is quite possible, there are circumstances where it works. In my case, I only drive it every few days and typically less than 10 miles at a time. If I can add 4 miles of charge to the battery every day, then my weekly charge from the grid is likely to be nothing.

    ... And the bragging rights over the neighbor with a Model S Tesla and $15,000 solar installation is even better.
     
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  9. Paul Gregory

    Paul Gregory Member

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    Oh wow, to run A/C?!
    That's a bit like using a teaspoon to prevent the Titanic from sinking.
     
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  10. dbstoo

    dbstoo Senior Member

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    I'll try to find the paperwork that I came across last week. It had the classification for each major option, and the solar roof was one that was marked as installed at the port.
     
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  11. phase

    phase Junior Member

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    is there a way to wire up an after market solar panel to charge the battery? obviously it wont look as clean and OEM but is it possible?
     
  12. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Luddite

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  13. Paul Gregory

    Paul Gregory Member

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    You could fill up your trunk with folding solar panels, but you'd need about 5 parking spaces.
    And someone would steal them.
     
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  14. Beach Dweller

    Beach Dweller Junior Member

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    Heehee, when the temps are in the 90s, AND the humidity is 80-90%, AC becomes important. At least my wife thinks so! :cool:
     
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  15. AndersOne

    AndersOne Member

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    The solar roof is obviously geared towards the top trim with all options. Given the Prius generally starts very affordable in the states, it seems the target group are mostly price-conscious buyers.

    In Europe they sell only the Prius Prime and even the lowest trim is pretty good (and more expensive than a Tesla Modely Y) while the highest trim (you need that e.g. for Softex and 360) automatically gets solar roof. So many people (including me) just take highest trim to get the best stuff and have the solar panels despite not needing them.

    Price-conscious buyers would never buy a prius here - or cant afford it in the first place.
     
  16. Gokhan

    Gokhan Senior Member

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    Well, for beginners, the solar roof is not expensive. It is only $610. The reason why it is so cheap is that because you lose the standard fixed glass roof if you get the solar roof.

    However, again, you lose the standard fixed glass roof if the solar roof is there. I think that is one reason why Toyota is not keen on it, as the Gen 5 Prius has been all about styling.

    I think the other reason is because it requires a different PHEV battery pack, which complicates the supply. I don't know exactly what is different about it—perhaps there is an extra wire harness that plugs into it.

    Regarding port installation, this is impossible. You are talking about installing wire harnesses, an extra charger, a different battery pack, and precisely and cleanly gluing and sealing the solar panel on top of the car and drying it with a heat gun. Something like this can't be reliably done out of the factory and would also take several hours.

    As far as the added miles, it is 185 watts. So, if you park your car from 9 AM to 5 PM under the sun, you would get 1.48 kWh, which is 9 miles of city driving on my Gen 4 and probably about 7 miles of city driving on Gen 5. If your commuting distance is short, you could get away with not charging or fueling your Prius Prime XSE Premium with the solar roof at all. It is a pity that they don't put it as standard equipment instead of the fixed (nonopening) glass roof, the latter of which is only a styling feature without a functionality (other than seeing the sky if you look up instead of watching the road).
     
    #16 Gokhan, Feb 25, 2024
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2024
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  17. Sarge

    Sarge Senior Member

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    '
    Personally, I prefer the airiness/natural light of the glass roof over the small amount of energy the solar roof would generate. Not to mention, it is one more thing to consider when parking/charging, as you will not want to fully charge the battery when parking during the day and “waste” the solar energy, and always leave a bit of headroom for the solar... That considered (along with the lower cost), I prefer the glass roof. I just wish it opened. :confused:

    Of course, the solar roof is not even offered in Canada (since we get less sun in the north), so there was no decision for me to make anyway, lol.
     
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  18. Hammersmith

    Hammersmith Senior Member

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    Yeah, you didn't get the solar roof, but you did get the yellow. (Still super jealous of that. lol)
     
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  19. Paul Gregory

    Paul Gregory Member

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    If someone was selling a 3rd-party sunroof with a solar panel that actually opened,
    I'd buy it.
     
  20. Sarge

    Sarge Senior Member

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    lol, yeah…. It’s a trade-off I am willing to take. :cool: I still don’t understand Toyota’s decision not to offer it stateside… o_O It’s a sweet colour.(y)