Hyundai offers solar-charging roof for its new Sonata hybrid

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  • Eco-friendly solar roof system charges vehicle’s battery using solar panels even while driving
  • The system improves fuel efficiency while preventing battery discharge and reducing CO2 emissions
  • With the technology, 30 to 60% of a car’s battery can be charged via solar energy

Hyundai is launching its first car with a solar roof charging system. This groundbreaking eco-friendly technology will provide vehicles with additional electrical power, as well as increasing fuel efficiency and driving range.

Hyundai Motor’s solar roof charging system makes its debut on the New Sonata Hybrid. The system supports the vehicle’s electric power source, improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions.

Hyundai, in the future, will roll out the technology to other vehicles across its range. 

The solar roof system includes a structure of silicon solar panels that are mounted on the car’s roof. Being able to charge even while driving, the solar roof system can charge 30 to 60% of the battery per day with 6 hours of daily charging, it is expected to increase drivers’ travel distance by an extra 1300km annually, says the automaker.

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The system 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 converted to the standard voltage by the controller, then stored in the battery. Hyundai Motor took not only efficiency but also design into account while developing the solar charging system.

While the solar roof system currently plays a supporting role, it opens up perspectives for vehicles that no longer need fossil fuel to operate.

The New Sonata is now on sale exclusively in Korea and will soon be sold in North America. The firm currently has no plans to expand sales of this model to the European market.

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