Hyundai reported that up to 60% of the car’s battery could be supplied via the solar roof if used for six hours a day. Adding that the panels are capable of providing enough power for the Sonata model to travel 1,300km (808miles) per year.
Hyundai also plans to offer the roof as an optional extra that can be featured on other models.
Fitting hybrids with panels that can harvest solar energy would boost fuel efficiency and lower carbon dioxide emissions said Hyundai.
Heui Won Yang, head of the Hyundai Motor Group’s Body Tech Unit also commented saying that the technology allowed its customers to “actively tackle” issues related to emissions, adding that the business hoped to expand the technology to vehicles with traditional internal combustion engines.
The solar roof Sonata will be available for sale in North America and Korea, with currently no prices being given by Hyundai.
Stephen Edelstein wrote on the Digital Trends news site that “Hybrids like the Sonata have smaller battery packs than all-electric cars, so a solar roof can make a bigger difference in charging.” Also adding
“Solar cells add cost and weight to cars, and it’s unclear how effective they can be in the real world.
Despite the question of practicality, Hyundai is working on a second-generation solar roof that would be semi-transparent to help light the car’s cabin.