December 14, 2018

Hyundai, Kia to fit cars with solar roof technology from 2019

01 November 2018, 05:44 | Austin Hogan

The 'solar' roof on your Kia will soon charge your car

Hyundai and Kia will offer cars with solar roofs from 2019

The first-generation system, which will be applied to hybrid models, is created out of a structure of silicon solar panels that are integrated into a standard auto roof.

The first-generation system for hybrids features a structure of silicon solar panels integrated into a standard auto roof that is capable of charging 30 to 60 per cent of the battery over the course of a normal day, depending on weather conditions and other environmental factors.

Kia Motors and Hyundai Motor have today announced plans to introduce "solar roof" charging technology on selected Hyundai Motor Group vehicles. The vehicle can then use that energy to reduce engine usage, thus increasing fuel economy and cutting Carbon dioxide emissions.

At some point, Hyundai and Kia will roll out a second-generation system, this one designated for vehicles with internal combustion engines. Given a healthy supply of sunlight, Hyundai says, this solar roof could deliver 30- to 60-percent of the charge of a hybrid's battery in a day.

The third stage, which is now the subject of a pilot study, will see fuller integration of solar panels into the vehicle structure, on both the roof and hood.

Moving into the third generation of the technology, Hyundai and Kia will put solar-charging technologies on the hoods and roofs of electric vehicles. Its technology is broken down into three distinct charging systems, each being dedicated to a different type of vehicle - traditional gas cars, hybrids and electric vehicles.

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The other type is a semi-transparent panel that will cover the panoramic sunroof to let in light as well as power the accessories.

The third-generation system is now in testing.

Of course, some of these technologies aren't new as vehicles like the Toyota Prius and previous-generation Nissan Leaf already come fitted with them.

You might have heard about solar panels on a car's roof, but the hood? The panels will charge the main battery or an auxiliary battery included as part of the system while blending more naturally into the sunroof structure.

"It is an exciting development for us, designing a technology for vehicle owners to help them shift from being energy users to being energy producers", he added.

Power generated from these solar panel roofs will be able to produce additional electrical power, increasing fuel efficiency and range.

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