Hyundai and Kia will be the next brands to incorporate solar charging into their vehicles. Hybrid models are slated to receive the tech first, but solar systems will eventually roll out in EVs and conventional internal combustion cars after 2019.
The Korean car brands haven’t said which models will get the solar roofs, and in which markets. But we do know the first-generation system will comprise a structure of silicon solar panels integrated into a standard car roof. Hyundai says the system can charge about 30-60 percent of the battery in a day, depending on weather conditions and other factors.
At some point, Hyundai and Kia will roll out a second-generation system, this one designated for vehicles with internal combustion engines. The automakers boast this system for combustion vehicles will be a world-first application for solar charging technology. It integrates into a panoramic sunroof to simultaneously let light in and charge the vehicle’s battery.
Moving into the third generation of the technology, Hyundai and Kia will put solar-charging technologies on the hoods and roofs of electric vehicles. The automakers haven’t announced a timeline for the rollout, but say they are currently testing the system.
Of course, Hyundai and Kia aren’t the only automakers entering the solar power realm. Japan’s version of the Toyota Prius Prime offers a solar roof. The Karma Revero, an extended-range electric vehicle, has a solar roof, too. Audi said last year it’s working on integrating solar cells into panoramic glass roofs to increase the range of electric vehicles.
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