Lots of industries have adopted solar energy in different ways and the automotive industry hasn’t been left behind. The Korean carmaker, Hyundai has launched its solar battery charged Sonata hybrid. The battery of the Sonata will be charged around 60 per cent by a solar roof. Essentially, six hours in the sun daily are required if the solar roof will meet the 60 per cent charge needed.
Enough propelling power
The solar panels on the car will offer sufficient power to move the Sonata around 800 miles annually. Other models in the Hyundai range will also receive the solar roof if the need be as an extra. The panels are expected to lower carbon emissions while enhancing its fuel efficiency.
Together with an improved system of engine control, the panels will guarantee the Hyundai Sonata remains energy efficient. Considering the Sonata is one of the hybrids with small batteries, charging with a solar roof could be the difference.
Even so, reservations on additional weight on a vehicle and high costs have always lingered on the adoption of a solar panel on a passenger car.
Semi-transparent solar roof
To add more light to the cabin of the car, Hyundai is also involved in testing a second-generation type of semi-transparent solar roof. The Sonata hybrid with a solar roof will be on sale in Korea and North America with plans to sell the model in other markets not yet on the shelf. Hyundai is yet to give a price for the car.
Not the first
While a solar roof on a car is revolutionary, Hyundai isn’t really the first carmaker to design solar panels for cars. Toyota Prius already has charging mechanisms powered by solar optionally available as well as Karma Revero luxury car that comes with such a charging option.
Lightyear, a start up in the Netherlands is also developing a solar panelled electrical car on both the roof and bonnet to keep the battery sufficiently charged. The car, dubbed Lightyear One will go for £137,000 after its launch in 2021.