Hyundai and Kia have announced that they’re adopting solar panels for cars in a pretty big way. They plan to introduce solar panels on select vehicles. These panels will be able to generate electricity and will be placed into the roof or hood of the vehicles. They will support the internal combustion, hybrid, and battery electric vehicles by providing additional power to increase fuel efficiency and range.
The Hyundai Motor Group is developing this solar charging technology to support the vehicle’s main power source. The panels won’t be enough on their own to power the entire car. They will have a supporting role to improve mileage and reduce emissions. The panels will be able to charge the batteries of internal combustion engine vehicles as well to improve fuel efficiency.
The group is working on three different types of solar roof charging systems. The first-generation silicon solar roof system, the second-generation semi-transparent solar roof system, and the third-generation lightweight solar-lid which will be positioned on the vehicle’s body.
The first-generation system will be used for hybrid models and will feature panels mounted on the roof. It can charge 30 to 60 percent of the battery per day, depending on the weather conditions. The second-generation semi-transparent solar roof system will be used for internal combustion engine vehicles. They will be applied to a panoramic sunroof and will maintain transparency while charging an additional battery.
Lastly, the lightweight solar-lid system will be used for eco-friendly models but it’s currently in the process of pilot study. It will involve a structure that mounts solar panels on the bonnet and roof combined to maximize output.
The first-generation of this technology is said to make it into the group’s vehicles after 2019.