Solar charging isn't anything particularly new in the world of hybrid cars, but Hyundai is taking big steps with the launch of their first car to come with the feature. It will be packaged with their new Sonata Hybrid, and will eventually be rolled out to other models in the Hyundai range.
The system is able to charge 30 to 60 percent of the battery depending on weather conditions, even providing charge while driving. In particularly sunny parts of the world, drivers can expect 1,300 additional solar-powered kilometres on their commutes, annually.
Granted this means that owners can't have a sunroof, but it's still a pretty good tradeoff for what is effectively free energy. For the time being, solar panel technology isn't efficient enough to run a hybrid or electric car entirely off the sun, but it's certainly getting closer with each passing year. With tightening regulations for emissions and efficiency in many parts of the world, this technology certainly helps cars to meet that regulation.
“Solar roof technology is a good example of how Hyundai Motor is moving towards becoming a clean mobility provider. The technology allows our customers to actively tackle emissions issue. We are striving to further expand the application of the technology beyond eco-friendly vehicle line up to vehicles with internal combustion engine.” said Heui Won Yang, Senior Vice President and Head of Body Tech Unit of Hyundai Motor Group.
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