Automotive ‘solar’ charging on the way

Posted on 26 Nov 2018 and read 476 times
Automotive ‘solar’ charging on the wayKia Motors (www.kia.com) and Hyundai Motor have announced plans to introduce ‘solar’ charging technology on selected Hyundai Motor Group vehicles by incorporating electricity-generating solar panels into the roof or the bonnet, thereby giving these internal-combustion engine (ICE), hybrid and battery electric vehicles additional electrical power and increasing their range.

Hyundai Motor Group (www.hyundai.com) is developing three types of solar roof charging systems.

The first-generation system is for hybrid vehicles, while the second-generation technology is a semi-transparent solar roof system for ICE vehicles.

The third generation will be a lightweight solar roof for battery electric vehicles.

The first-generation system — created by integrating silicon solar panels into a standard car roof — can provide 30-60% of a battery’s charge over the course of a normal day, depending on weather conditions and other environmental factors.

The second-generation semi-transparent solar roof for ICE vehicles can be integrated with a panoramic sunroof, letting light through into the cabin, while at the same time charging the vehicle’s battery.

The third-generation system is currently in testing.

It is designed to be applied to the bonnet and roof of battery electric vehicle models.

Jeong-Gil Park, vice-president of Hyundai Motor Group’s engineering and design division, said: “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.

"It is an exciting development for us, designing a technology for vehicle owners that will help them shift from being energy users to being energy producers.”

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