Hyundai published a version of its Sonata hybrid that has solar panels on its roof to support battery charging while driving.
The Korean car making company assures that up to 60% of the power for the car’s battery will be supplied if the solar roof is used for six hours a day.
Besides that, they added that the solar panels would provide enough power to propel the Sonata for 1,300km (800miles) a year.
Hyundai added that they plan to offer the roof as an optional extra on other models in its range.
Speaking about the benefits of solar panels on the roofs of the cars, Hyundai said that the hybrids with solar panels can harvest solar energy which will boost fuel efficiency and lower carbon dioxide emissions.
The mid-sized passenger car has an improved engine control system to ensure energy use was as efficient as possible.
Stephen Edelstein, writing on the Digital Trends news site, says that the hybrids like the Sonata have smaller battery packs than all-electric cars, so a solar roof can make a bigger difference in charging.
He added that the solar cells added cost and weight to cars, and it was unclear how effective they could be in the real world.
Besides, Hyundai is in the process of creating a second-generation solar roof that would be semi-transparent to help light the car’s cabin.
Sonata equipped with the solar-roof will be on sale in North America and Korea. Hyundai said they had not yet planned to sell it in other places.
Hyundai did not speak about the price for the hybrid passenger car equipped with a solar roof.
Low emission vehicle sales in the UK, including hybrids, fell for the first time compared to the last 2 years, according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), released last month.
The SMMT blamed confusing policies and “premature” removal of subsidies for such hybrids, as factors in the drop of sales.
We know that Hyundai is not the first car manufacturer to use solar panels on a vehicle. We have told you about Toyota Prius with sun-powered charging system: you can also find the luxury Karma Revero on this list.
As regards Dutch start-up Lightyear, it is also working on an electric car that uses solar panels on its bonnet and roof to help charge the vehicle’s batteries.
Probably The Lightyear One car will cost about €149,000 (£137,000) when it goes on sale in 2021.
source – here