Korean auto giants Kia and Hyundai have unveiled solar roof technology to debut in 2019.
The solar roofs will be composed of solar panels that will be integrated into select model’s roofs, with three iterations made for hybrid (the 1.56 kWh-battery Sonata and Ioniq), gas, and battery-electric vehicles. According to Hyundai, the solar panels will be able to charge 60 percent of the hybrid battery in a 24-hour period.
“In the future, we expect to see many different types of electricity-generating technologies integrated into our vehicles,” Jeong-Gil Park, Senior Vice President at Hyundai Motor Group’s Engineering and Design, said in a statement.
“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,” Park added.
Regrettably, solar panels on car roofs are unlikely to generate maximum power, due to the need to be out in sunlight as well as their relatively small output of only a few hundred watts of electricity. Let’s see if Hyundai and Kia are able to increase capacity tenfold in a short period of time.