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Hyundai launches car with solar roof charging system

06/08/2019
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Imagine if your car’s battery could receive an extra boost from the sun. If you end up being the owner of Hyundai’s new Sonata Hybrid you won’t have to imagine this feature, thanks to the car’s inbuilt solar rooftop which provides charge to the battery even whilst driving!
Hyundai has launched a car with a solar roof charging system. The Sonata Hybrid is likely to be the first of many Hyundai's to feature this new tech.
(Image via Hyundai Motor).

The automotive industry has dabbled with solar power for quite some time, with a Dutch start-up even launching a vehicle whose motive power comes directly from the sun…. But Hyundai’s effort represents the most practical and realistic integration of solar power into a car that we’ve seen yet.

First introduced as a concept at the 2018 SEMA show, Hyundai has been determinedly working since to create production ready versions. The result is the Sonata Hybrid which is able to use its rooftop solar panels to provide up to 60 percent of the car’s battery charging per day and provide over 1,000km of EV range per year.

Over the coming years Hyundai plans to roll-out this solar charging technology to other vehicles across its range. 

Commenting on the commercial launch of the technology and how this aligns with Hyundai’s ambitions to become a clean mobility provider, Heui Won Yang, Senior Vice President and Head of Body Tech Unit of Hyundai, said:

“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 issues. We are striving to further expand the application of this technology beyond eco-friendly vehicle line up to vehicles with internal combustion engine.”

So, how does the system work?

For starters, it 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 solar electricity.

The electricity from this process is then converted to the standard voltage by the controller, then stored in the battery. 
The Hyundai Sonata Hybrid's in-built solar panels will be able to provide up to 60 percent of the car's battery charging per day
(Image via Hyundai Motor).

Whilst the total amount of energy generated from the car’s solar panels is negligible in comparison to the vehicle’s total energy consumption, it does point to a future in which the automotive industry becomes progressively cleaner and greener.

At present the new solar Sonata Hybrid is only available in Korea, however Hyundai has said it will eventually make the vehicle available for sale in North America.

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Tags: Automotive
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I believe I will learn a lot of new emerging issues in the automotive industry
Edward Waiyaki , 08 August 2019
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Hyundai launches car with solar roof charging system - Time to read 3 min
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