Hyundai and Kia reveal solar roof cars

Solar roof’ charging technology

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Considering the size of solar panels that can be fitted on a conventional car's roof can only produce modest amounts of electricity, it remains to be seen if Hyundai's announcement is actually a practical thing or merely a marketing move.

Solar charging technology will be developed to support the vehicle's main power source, improving mileage and reducing Carbon dioxide emissions.

As for the power generated, that will either be used to charge up the vehicle's regular battery, or to an additional battery.

Developed to support increased energy needs of autonomous technology, the solar charging technology would also assist in reducing Carbon dioxide emissions associated with EV chargers using electricity from a grid dominated by coal (such as Australia's).

The companies are launching three solar charging systems for several types of vehicles, including hybrid and battery electric.

Certain cars from Kia and Hyundai are set to get the charging systems.

There are now three systems in development.

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As for the system dedicated to battery electric vehicles, the Korean company says it is now in testing, and is created to be applied to the car's hood and roof for maximum energy output. Hyundai estimates that these panels will be capable of charging the battery between 30 to 60 percent per day, depending upon weather conditions.

The first-generation system, which be available from next year, will feature a silicone photovoltaic solar array attached to a standard roof on hybrid cars.

The solar charging technology is being developed to support the vehicle's main power source, improving mileage and reducing Carbon dioxide emissions.

The ICE technology will represent the first application of this product in the real world.

"It is an exciting development for us, designing a technology for vehicle owners to help them shift from being energy users to being energy producers", said Jeong-Gil Park, executive vice president of the engineering and design division of Hyundai Motor Group.

In its release, Hyundai Motor Group doesn't have much to say about the third generation of the technology, other than it "is now in testing", and it will be applied to the roofs and hoods of future EVs to provide them with a source of clean energy.

A 100W solar panel, given typical summer noontime levels of sunshine, could deliver 100 Wh of energy an hour, Hyundai points out.

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