- The Hyundai Motor Company has released its first hybrid vehicle that utilizes a solar roof for charging. It is now available in Korea and will release soon in North America.
- The Sonata Hybrid will draw solar power from the sun’s light and convert it to electricity that will be stored in its battery.
- The Sonata will not only improve on its 40/46 mpg but will also help reduce emissions.
- Hyundai has plans to release two other generations (waves) of solar-paneled vehicles that will implement further innovation.
Hyundai’s latest Sonata Hybrid comes equipped with the ability to charge the vehicle using solar panels installed on its roof. The new Sonata is available now in Korea with plans to release the vehicle in North America fairly soon.
Solar Roof Technology and Fuel Economy
The roof of each Sonata Hybrid includes silicone solar panels that allow the vehicle to charge while on the road. The electricity that is produced when the solar panels convert the sun’s light photons into energy, is sent through a controller that is part of the vehicle’s unique charging system.
The controller then converts this electricity into the standard voltage used by the vehicle and stores it in the battery to be used as needed. The solar panel charging system allows the Sonata to charge 30% to 60% of the battery per day. This will ultimately give drivers an additional 800 miles each year.
Creating a More Eco-Friendly Future
Although the Hyundai Sonata Hybrid isn’t the first vehicle to use solar panels to charge its battery, it does give customers another way to a part of creating a more eco-friendly future. Although Hyundai’s hybrid vehicle already boasts of a 40/46 mpg efficiency, the solar-powered roof will not only increase this rate but help reduce the vehicle’s emissions.
Senior Vice President and Head of Body Tech Unit of Hyundai Motor Group, Heui Won Yang said, “Solar roof technology is a good example of how Hyundai Motor is moving towards becoming a clean mobility provider.”
He continues, “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 engines.”
More Solar Panel Innovations From Hyundai
Hyundai announced its plans to use solar panels on their vehicles during the fall fo 2018. At that time, the company estimated that it would release the new Sonata Hybrid “after 2019.” Not only are they ahead of schedule but there are plans for second- and third-generation vehicles that would incrementally increase the use and effectiveness of solar panels.
The second-generation vehicles would include a semi-transparent roof on its hybrids and other combustion-only models. The third-generation vehicles would implement solar panels that would draw power from both the roof and the hood.
The Hyundai Motor company has plans to use the Sonata Hybrid technology across many of its other vehicles. The goal is to move the transportation and mobility industry into a future that is more sustainable longterm.