Kia Motors and Hyundai Motor Company will soon introduce “solar roof” charging technology on selected Hyundai Motor Group vehicles, where implementation will begin as soon as the year 2020.
These electric solar panels will be placed on the roof of the vehicles to support the vehicle’s main power source, charge the batteries in hybrid, electric and even internal combustion vehicles.The Group is currently developing three types of solar roof charging systems – for hybrid vehicles, electric vehicles and internal combustion engine vehicles.
Hybrid vehicles will feature first generation systems with silicon solar panels integrated into a standard car roof and is capable of charging 30-60% of the car’s battery depending on conditions.
Vehicles with internal combustion engines will feature a world-first, semi-transparent solar roof, which can be integrated with a panoramic sunroof – to let light into the cabin while charging the vehicle’s battery at the same time. Hyundai believes this will help vehicles with internal combustion engines to be more efficient and more compliant to global environmental regulations.
Still under testing are the systems for pure electric vehicles, where lightweight solar panels will be applied to the hood and roof of these vehicles, to maximise efficiency and increase their driving range.
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,” said the developer of the technology, Executive Vice President of the Engineering and Design Division of Hyundai Motor Group, Jeong-Gil Park.