Hyundai Motor is launching its first car with a solar roof charging system. This eco-friendly technology will provide vehicles with additional electrical power, as well as increasing fuel efficiency and driving range. The system makes its debut on the new Sonata Hybrid. It supports the vehicle’s electric power source, improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions.
In the coming years, Hyundai will roll out the technology to other vehicles across its range. This is the latest application of a smart solution advancing the mobility industry towards a more sustainable future.
“Solar roof technology is a good example of how Hyundai Motor is moving towards becoming a clean mobility provider. The technology allows our customers to actively tackle emissions issue” said Heui Won Yang, Senior Vice President and head of Body Tech Unit of Hyundai Motor Group. “We are striving to further expand the application of the technology beyond eco-friendly vehicle line up to vehicles with internal combustion engines.”
The solar roof system includes a structure of silicon solar panels. Being able to charge while driving, the system can charge 30 to 60 per cent of the battery per day and with 6 hours of daily charging, it is expected to increase drivers’ travel distance by an extra 1,300 km annually.
The system is composed of a solar panel and a controller. Electricity is produced when solar energy activates the solar panel’s surface, which converts this energy by using photons of light from the sun. This creates the electron-hole pairs in silicon cells, which generate electricity.
The electricity from this process is converted to the standard voltage by the controller, then stored in the battery. Hyundai Motor took not only efficiency but also design into account while developing the solar charging system.
While the solar roof system currently plays a supporting role, it opens up perspectives for vehicles that no longer need fossil fuel to operate.
Read about Hyundai’s other technology advances here.