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article imageHyundai Motor introduces its first car with a solar panel roof

By Karen Graham     Aug 10, 2019 in Technology
Hyundai Motor Company has launched its first-ever car with a solar roof charging system. In an announcement last week, the business said that the technology would first be used on the latest version of its Sonata Hybrid.
The groundbreaking eco-friendly technology supports the vehicle’s electric power source, improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. Hyundai claims the adaption will add up to 800 miles of free charge to the vehicle annually.
The solar roof system consists of silicon solar panels attached to the roof of the vehicle, along with a controller. Electricity is produced when solar energy activates the surface of the solar panel, which converts the energy by using photons of light from the sun. This creates the electron-hole pairs in silicon cells, which generate solar electricity.
The controller converts the electricity produced to a standard voltage where it is stored in the vehicle's battery. Hyundai added that 30 to 60 percent of the car’s battery could be charged using this solar technology. With only six hours of charging per day, travel distances can be increased by 1,300 kilometers (807 miles) per year.
Writing in Digital Trends, Stephen Edelstein said: "Hybrids like the Sonata have smaller battery packs than all-electric cars, so a solar roof can make a bigger difference in charging. Solar cells add cost and weight to cars, and it's unclear how effective they can be in the real world."
Hyundai has confirmed that it plans to sell the solar Sonata in North America and Korea only, and to offer the roof as an optional extra on other models across its electric vehicle (EV) portfolio. Hyundai currently has no plans to expand sales of this model to the European market.
“Solar roof technology is a good example of how Hyundai Motor is moving towards becoming a clean mobility provider,” said Heui Won Yang, Senior Vice President and Head of Body Tech Unit of Hyundai Motor Group.
More about Hyundai, Sonata Hybrid, Silicon solar panel, ghg emissions, Renewable energy
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