We usually use the main picture in a post to give you a straightforward idea of what vehicle or technology the post is about. More unusual images can live in the gallery. For a vehicle we discovered at the Washington Auto Show, though, we needed to use the main picture spot to show off just one of the many highlights that Bob Bruninga has made to his Prius: wood trim on the doors (see it from a distance here and here). This little homebrew addition is just one of a ridiculous number of modifications made to the Prius Power vehicle we found on display in the Green Car Pavilion
The more important mods include: solar panels on the roof and hood, a bigger battery setup (248 volt, 9 amp hour array) to give the solar energy somewhere to go when the car is parked, a retro analog instrument panel to keep track of all the added electronics, and a wood and glass/plastic cylinder thing on the top. No one was around when I stopped by, so I'm not sure what that's all about but, man, is it cool. In a "huh?" kind of way.
Bruninga writes that the solar panels and beefed up battery cost him about $3,000. He knows it won't get him 100 mpge, but he doesn't care. He wants to provide power for ham radio field days and explore the possibilities. One more thing: the passenger seat has been replaced with the DIY "Prius Inn," bed for one option. Who knew you could do so much to a Prius? He has plans for more, BTW.
Related GalleryWashington 2009: Prius Power