Hyundai and Kia will offer cars with solar roofs from 2019
01 November, 2018, 17:42
Hyundai says that the solar charging technology is being developed to support the vehicle's main power source, with the aim of improving mileage and reducing Carbon dioxide emissions, and will have the capability to charge the batteries of not just electric and hybrid vehicles, but also those of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, helping to improve fuel efficiency.
The first generation of the technology will be "created out of a structure of silicon solar panels that are integrated into a standard vehicle roof", described Hyundai.
The Korean auto brands haven't said which models will get the solar roofs, and in which markets.
Hyundai and Kia have just announced that they will be offering solar roof panels on their cars. While solar charging panels have been fitted to vehicles previously, including on the Toyota Prius Plug-in, this is believed to be the first time the technology will be applied to an ICE-only auto. Here, a semi-transparent solar panel can be added to a panoramic sunroof, boosting a vehicle's battery while still letting light into the cabin. They will feature not only in the growing electric and hybrid lineup, but also in purely gas vehicles, directly charging batteries and cutting the workload on the internal combustion engine (ICE).
You won't see the first-gen solar tech until "after 2019".
Jeong-Gil Park, executive vice president of engineering design at Hyundai says the technology will elevate the role of the EV driver from just another consumer of centrally generated power. Applying solar charging systems to ICE vehicles will help them comply with ever more stringent global environmental laws regulating Carbon dioxide emissions.
The systems comprise of a solar panel, controller and a battery.
All three types will use silicon solar panels that can generate up to 100W of electricity, which is then fed through a controller to increase efficiency before being sent to a battery.
The last will be for electric cars and is now in the testing phase. Then again, lots of small gains can quickly add up, so any move in this direction is a good thing, even for petrol-powered vehicles.
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