If a car that gets 100 miles per gallon of gasoline sounds like a driver’s futile fantasy, think again.
Scientists at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden are testing a spruced-up Toyota Prius, a plug-in hybrid sedan complete with a solar panel attached to its oval roof and a bigger battery in the trunk to supply power in lieu of the gasoline-fueled engine.
The result: A spunky Prius that runs the initial 60 miles mostly on battery, adding up to a fuel mileage of 100 miles per gallon.
“The stored power in the battery does a great job of displacing petroleum,” said Tony Markel, a senior engineer at NREL who has been working on the 2006 model Prius for the past two years. “For most people, their daily commute is about 30 miles, so this car would run virtually on battery and only need to be recharged at night.”