The main issue with electric cars is still the charging time for most manufacturers and the users as well. To tackle this issue to some extent, Korean manufacturer Hyundai and its sub-brand Kia has introduced a solar roof for its future cars.
The proposed solar roof will be fitted in electric cars, hybrid cars and also for the first time, in the IC engine powered cars. The company said, “The first-generation system is for hybrid vehicles, while the second-generation technology brings a semi-transparent solar roof system to ICE vehicles. The third generation of the technology will see the introduction of a lightweight solar roof for battery electric vehicles.”
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. In hybrid cars, the panels can charge 30-60% of the battery during a day, depending on the weather. To increase the output in the electric cars, the panels will be fitted on the bonnet too.
The developer of the technology, Jeong-Gil Park, Executive Vice President of the Engineering and Design Division of Hyundai Motor Group, said, “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.”
“In the future, we expect to see many different types of electricity-generating technologies integrated into our vehicles. The solar roof is the first of these technologies, and will mean that automobiles no longer passively consume energy, but will begin to produce it actively,” he added.
Hyundai is planning to bring this project into production as soon as next year. It is not clear yet that which models will get this technology in the beginning.