South Korean automaker Hyundai and its affiliate Kia have unveiled plans to develop solar-charging technology on selected Hyundai models which they plan to launch "after 2019", Hyundai said in a statement.
According to Hyundai, the solar charging technology will "support the vehicle's main power source, improving mileage and reducing CO2 emissions". Additionally, the new technology will have the ability to not only charge eco-friendly vehicles, including electric and hybrid vehicles, "but also internal combustion engine vehicles, thereby improving fuel efficiency", Hyundai said.
The motor group is developing three solar roof charging systems. The first-generation system for hybrid models, set to be launched in 2019, will be a silicon structured solar roof system which Hyundai stated will have the power to charge the car battery 30 – 60% per day, weather permitting.
Of the second solar tech development Hyundai said: "The second-generation semi-transparent solar roof system will be applied to vehicles with internal combustion engines, for the first time in the world."
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Lastly, the third system targets fully electric vehicles and will feature solar panels on both the roof and hood of the car to maximize energy output.
Hyundai's VP of Engineering Design Division Jeong-Gil Park said: "In the future, various types of electricity generating technologies, including the solar charging system, will be connected to vehicles.
"This will enable them to develop from a passive device that consumes energy to a solution that actively generates energy. The paradigm of the vehicle owner will shift from that of a consumer to an energy prosumer," she added.