Hyundai, Kia to Use Solar Roof Charging Tech in Vehicles by 2020
Sister carmakers Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors will soon introduce ‘solar roof’ charging technology in some of its vehicles after 2019, using solar panels incorporated into the roof or hood that will support internal combustion, hybrid and battery electric vehicles “with additional electrical power, increasing fuel efficiency and range.”
The solar charging technology is being developed to support the vehicle’s main power source, improving mileage and reducing CO2 emissions. The system will have the capability to charge the batteries of eco-friendly electric and hybrid vehicles, as well as those of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles, helping to improve fuel efficiency.
Three types of solar roof charging systems are reportedly being developed by both brands.
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 car roof. This system is capable of charging 30 to 60 percent of the battery over the course of a normal day, depending on weather conditions and other environmental factors.
The second-generation semi-transparent solar roof will be applied to ICE vehicles, representing a world-first application for the technology. The semi-transparent technologies can be integrated with a panoramic sunroof, letting light through into the cabin, while simultaneously charging the vehicle’s battery. Applying solar charging systems to ICE vehicles will help them comply with ever more stringent global environmental laws regulating CO2 emissions.
The third-generation system, is currently being tested and is designed to be applied to the hood and roof of eco-friendly battery electric vehicle models in order to maximize energy output.