Hyundai is to launch an eco-friendly car that uses a solar roof charging system. This new technology has the potential to provide the car with free electric power which will help supplement the engine.
Set to debut on the new Sonata Hybrid, this solar system is designed to support the vehicle’s electric power source – promising to improve fuel efficiency and to reduce C02 emissions, making it the perfect car for the environmentally-conscious driver.
Hyundai aims to roll out this technology to other cars in the coming years. The solar panels are made of silicon and can be charged whilst the car is moving. Up to 60% of car’s battery can be charged per day, over a six hour period – this is said to increase range by 1,300 km (800 miles) per year.
When the solar cells create power, the electricity is converted to the standard voltage by the on-board system controller, which is in turn stored in the battery.
Hyundai acknowledge that the roof will create a dark interior. The brand is currently working on a second-gen solar roof that will be semi-transparent to help draw light into the cabin.
The New Sonata Hybrid is equipped with the world’s first Active Shift Control (ASC) technology and solar roof charging system. It features the Smartstream G2.0 GDi HEV engine and a 6-speed hybrid transmission.
The Sonata Hybrid is now on sale in Korea and will soon be sold in North America but Hyundai currently has no plans to sell in the European market.