@Waves & all Pious owners
"are there any other cars manufactured today that get 55 mpg?"
Yes, lots. For example the Fiat Panda 1.3 16v Multijet gets 65.7mpg for the diesel, and 76.3mpg for the petrol. OK so it might not be the most exciting car in the world, but at least, unlike the Prius, people don't shout and throw things at you when you drive past.
55mpg, for a smaller-mid size European car is pretty average really. There are plenty on (non-hybrid) cars available with much better mpg. Annoyingly, I can't remember which one it is, but one of the "super minis" gets over 100 (if you're really careful)
I'm still amazed that anyone thinks that by whacking a massive great heavy motor, and an enormous heavy battery in a relativly small car, along with it's norml hulking engine, it gets them magically better performance. All the Prius does is run it's batteries down around town, then the second you get out into the country, the engine has to run twice as hard to charge the batteries back up again. All you do is save your pollution for the countryside. Thanks a lot. You kill baby foxes with your stupid Priuses, choking them to death on your sickening fumes. Jerks.
And if you charge it off the grid, it's even worse. If everyone in the country got a hybrid and charged it up at home, every day at about half past five the entire national grid would fail, not to mention the fact that most of the energy is generated from oil and coal fired power stations.
This new solar panel seems like more of the same. Indulgant crap to keep people who can't be bothered to actually do anything about helping the environment themselves feeling smug about "saving the planet". There's no way in hell a solar panel is going to be worth the extra weight of dragging it around, nor the energy or pollution to make it, for it's pathetic trickle of energy. You don't get solar panels for the environment, you get them so you get cheaper power. They're bad for the environment, and so are huge motors and batteries. All it means is cheaper petrol for you, you cheapskates.
A solar panel to generate the energy for your aircon? If you want to "save the planet" so badly, get a car WITHOUT AIRCON. Better still, walk. It might give you some exercise other than the endless flapping of your jaws about how you "want to be part of the solution, not part of the problem". You'll never be Captian Planet, get over it. Idiots.