• Jul 22, 2009
Toyota Solar Flowers - Click above for high-res image gallery

As part of Toyota's strange but seemingly effective marketing campaign for its new 2010 Prius hybrid, the Japanese automaker has rolled out a bunch of 18-foot tall solar flowers to various urban centers all around the United States, starting with Boston's Prudential Plaza. Next up: New York, followed by Chicago, Seattle, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

According to Toyota, these so-called solar flowers represent the Prius theme of "Harmony between Man, Nature, and Machine." Apparently, they achieve this by providing seating for up to ten people and by featuring laptop and cell phone recharging stations and access to free wireless internet service. Understandably, there's probably not quite enough juice from the petal-shaped solar panels to provide all the necessary energy for those ten people, so we're guessing there are some high-powered batteries involved in there somewhere.



[Source: Toyota]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 40 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      That's a great job marketing the car.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Genious. The prius's marketing is some of the best in the industry.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I loved the conversation in autoblog’s most recent podcast, where someone essentially said that Prius PR was BS. They advertise the car like it benefits the environment.

        It still pollutes, just marginally less.
        • 5 Years Ago
        I loved the conversation in autoblog’s most recent podcast, where someone essentially said that Prius PR was BS. They advertise the car like it benefits the environment.

        It still pollutes, just marginally less.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I like the synthetic "Harmony between Man, Nature, and Machine" theme. I heard that the folks that sit on them are sucked in and reprocessed as SunChips. The fiberglas daisy drops your biomass into the base and dries it out with solar power to create the chips. They don't taste bad. It's good when people recycle. I'm a believer.

      BTW: the prius has a battery about the size of 2 or 3 normal ones. A plug in needs about 10-15x more capacity. To convert it to a plug-in requires about $10k more in batteries alone, pushing the price of *any* PHEV into the $40k range, which is why Toyota doesn't need to jump to respond directly to GM at this point; they've got a strong position in the market. The market is too ignorant to the degree of difference between a hybrid and a plug in.
      • 5 Years Ago
      where are these things in LA?
      • 5 Years Ago
      To those searching for more on the Toyota engine oil sludge or gel matter, please see the following links:

      http://www.toyotaoilgel.com
      http://www.petitiononline.com/TMC2003/petition.html
      http://www.uc2.blogspot.com
      http://www.autosafety.org

      Follow “toyotasludge” on Twitter.com
      Watch the Toyota Sludge video on YouTube.com at
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs7WI2s-CVw

      If you have blue/white smoke from the exhaust, especially on start up; check engine light on; excess oil consumption or sudden disappearance of engine oil; failed emissions control components such as the oxygen sensor or catalytic converter; a thrown engine piston rod; or complete engine failure, then be on alert!

      Notify Toyota via CERTIFED letter with return receipt requested about your problem and ask for full repair coverage under Toyota’s Customer Support Program for Engine Oil Gelation.

      Speak up loudly online if Toyota refuses to honor this program or continues to blame you in the wake of proper vehicle maintenance.

      If Toyota is totally unresponsive in the wake of a failed engine due to engine oil sludge build up, consider going to the following web sites to voice your concern:

      http://www.ConsumerAffairs.com
      http://www.RipOffReport.com

      Regardless of the Toyota response, be sure to file online vehicle owner complaints at:

      http://www.autosafety.org The Center for Auto Safety
      http://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/ivoq/ The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

      Just to make it clear, the Toyota engine oil sludge problem…the one that has attracted so many defamers to follow me around the internet…is STILL a problem. There are many later model Toyota models showing signs of the same problem. What is worse, Toyota owners are reporting continued deception at Toyota and Toyota dealerships. Far too many Toyota owners are being told they do not qualify for the CSP repair cost coverage for one reason or another. Still other Toyota model owners who have sludged engines are being asked to pay thousands in repair costs despite proper vehicle maintenance.

      This is wrong!

      Toyota Owners Unite for Resolution
      • 5 Years Ago
      I know the country that I had hoped for is dead when big, ugly, gay looking flowers actually result in people buying a product rather than rejecting it because the company polluted up a beautiful public space with garbage. Apparently the only emission that comes from the Prius is moonbeams and rainbows even the owners waste is packaged in hermetically sealed, biodegradeable packaging to contain the odor.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm amused by the fact that Philadelphia is noticeably absent from the "major metropolitan areas" list. We always seem to miss out on these opportunities, like we have a...I don't know...bad reputation or something...
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not all of us are Greenweenies out here. In otherwords, not easily buffaloed by the Al Gore's of the world. No car is worth having unless it has three pedals (not a park brake pedal, however.) and a shifter that moves through more than one plane of motion. You can have my Internal Combustion Engine when you pry my keys from my cold dead fingers.
      Just figure out what to do with all those batteries. Maybe bury them with your compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
        • 5 Years Ago
        We wont need to pry them out of your hands, once the oil supply starts to receed we will still need it for plastics, asphalt etc so at the point you wont be able to afford it.

        Rather than rubbishing people with a concern for the enviroment or the worlds natural resources a more educated and thoughtfull approach would be to embrace these technologies for the mundane travel such as commuting, going to the grocery store etc. That would save the resources for having fun in the Muscle/Classic or sports car at the weekend. Oh and as a benefit using less gas to get to work would mean you have more money to buy/run the weekend car and as a bonus the world less polluted.

        This is why there real gear heads amongst us, Jay Leno being a prime example want more hybrids and electric vehicles.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Call me a greedy American who loves to drive, and it doesn't matter where, work, to the market whatever. My point is the global warm..er climate change alarmists, who continue to steer the sheeple's opinion despite being in the decided minority. I have the freedom to choose where and when I drive my vehicle and what kind of vehicle I choose to own-well, for the forseeable future, that is. At least until the current administration further restricts our freedoms.

        Since the 1970's the internal combustion engine has been made more efficient and cleaner than ever before. Current emission standards require vehicles to exhaust air that is nearly as clean as the air it ingests. In addition, the amount of known oil reserves continues to increase on a daily basis. I do agree that someday there will be a real change in they way we power our personal conveyances, but that time will probably be long after I am gone.

        Lastly, using Leno as an example is hardly a good one. I admire him for his career and especially his car collection, but I do believe he cannot comprehend what the average driver can afford or will put up with in a daily driver. Sixty mile range for electrics, etc.

        BTW I drive a Ford Fusion 4cylinder stick that averages 29 mpg. And it doesn't require batteries full of nasty stuff that will eventually get into a landfill and a great big transport to get here.

        I am a Sagitarius, my favoite color is blue and I enjoy classical jazz.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I, for one, welcome our new giant flower overlords.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Hey, this isn't slashdot.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Green huh? Are them made out of hemp?
      • 5 Years Ago
      Not sure if Toyota needs to spend all that marketing money here in the U.S. Honda's Insight is getting trashed by reviewers.

      http://www.cargurus.com/blog/2009/07/01/consumer-reports-honda-insight-dissapoints/
      • 5 Years Ago
      Those flowers are probably made of fiberglass or some sort of cast resin, which is very difficult and costly to recycle, much like the Prius' batteries, so thanks for more landfill, Toyota. I greatly admire the technology in the Prius, and the latest one is actually not that ugly, but when you look at the cradle to ashes environmental impact of hybrids in general, you soon realize they are merely a stop gap technology and a very profitable method of green washing.
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