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Toyota May Add Solar Panels to Hybrid Car

A Japanese business daily says automaker Toyota may add solar panels to the roof of some of its hybrid cars to help power the vehicle's air conditioner. Solar panels convert sunlight to electricity.

Toyota has not confirmed the story, which says the panels may be offered on a redesigned Prius model sometime next year.

Hybrids go farther than conventional vehicles on a liter of gasoline because they use a combination of electric motors, a large battery, and a gasoline engine. The car runs on electricity from the battery, which is recharged by the gasoline engine. The car is also able to gather some of the energy that other vehicles lose in the braking process.

Toyota has sold one million hybrids since introducing them a decade ago. The company hopes to eventually boost sales to one million per year.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.