Korean car brands Kia Motors and Hyundai Motor will start adding solar panels to their vehicles in 2019. What’s interesting is the Hyundai Motor Group plans to incorporate solar panels into internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles as well as its hybrids and electric vehicles, to increase their power and efficiency.
Hyundai isn’t the first car company to install solar panels on production vehicles—Toyota has offered Prius’ with solar panels for years—its plan to install them on ICE vehicles is interesting. And while Toyota first unveiled solar panels on the Prius to power a ventilation system, the company is now using them to charge the Prius’ batteries. That’s how Hyundai plans to use them as well. Other car companies like Audi are also venturing into using solar power on their vehicles.
Hyundai plans to roll out its solar paneled cars in three series. It will first roll out solar panels on hybrid vehicles as soon as 2019. Following that it will offer solar panels on ICE vehicles and finally it plans to install them on its electric vehicles.
“In the future, we expect to see many different types of electricity-generating technologies integrated into our vehicles. The solar roof is the first of these technologies, and will mean that automobiles no longer passively consume energy, but will begin to produce it actively,” said the developer of the technology Jeong-Gil Park, Executive Vice President of the Engineering and Design Division of Hyundai Motor Group. “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.”
The initial system, which will help power hybrid models, will use silicon solar panels integrated into a standard car roof. Hyundai said it will be able to charge the hybrid batteries to between 30 and 60 percent of the battery’s capacity in a normal day.
Its second generation system will consist of a semi-transparent solar roof for its ICE vehicles. The company said it will help charge the vehicle’s battery and help with meeting CO2 emission reductions around the world. It did not say whether it will help the company shrink its ICE battery.
Finally, the company also is testing a third system that it will install on its EVs. That system will cover both the roof and hood of its vehicles.Tweet