Hyundai integrating solar panels
Hyundai and Kia are planning to introduce solar roofs on some models. The new tech will help owners rely less on increasingly expensive fuel.
They are set to implement the solar technology in hybrid, fully electric and internal combustion vehicles.
The first generation tech will be used in hybrids, weaving silicon solar panels into the car's roof. Hyundai believes the solar panels can charge the batteries by between 30 and 60 per cent capacity on a normal day.
Second-generation tech will be installed on internal combustion vehicles. Hyundai plans to integrate a semi-transparent solar roof with a panoramic sunroof to let light into the cabin while also potentially powering the car's electronics and climate controls.
The brands are testing the third-gen technology for fully electric cars, with solar panels applied to the roof and bonnet of the vehicle to maximize the battery power and range.
Solar panels integrated into a panoramic sunroof will help reduce fuel use for internal combustion vehicles.
Hyundai engineering and design chief Jeong-Gil Park says this is just the start of energy generating technology to be applied to vehicles in coming years.
Hyundai Australia spokesman Bill Thomas believes the technology is a perfect fit for Australia."Adopting brilliant new technology like this in Australia obviously makes a lot of sense given our abundance of sunlight," says Thomas.
However, this is not the first time that a solar powered car has been floated. Earlier this year German start-up Sono Motors revealed its Sion EV covered with 330 solar panels. The electric vehicle maker claimed its panels could add more than 10 per cent to car's driving range. The EV is planned to go on sale in Europe next year but is unlikely to make it to Australia.