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Hyundai and Kia co-develop car-top solar panels

Solar panel technology to support electrified and ICE Hyundai, Kia models after 2019

1 Nov 2018

HYUNDAI Motor and Kia Motors have announced they are co-developing rooftop solar charging technology for select vehicles, with applications suiting both electrified and internal-combustion engine (ICE) models.
Set for a rollout next decade, the companies have created three types of solar array to suit various applications, and to increase fuel efficiency and improve EV range.
The three solar panel systems consist of a first-generation silicon solar roof system, a second-generation semi-transparent solar roof system and a third-generation lightweight solar-lid on the body of the vehicle.
Hybrid models will be the beneficiary of the first-gen system, which mates mass-produced silicon solar panels seamlessly to the roof of the car for between 30 and 60 per cent of battery recuperation, depending on environmental conditions. It will be the first array released to the public “after 2019”.
Hyundai Motor Company Australia said it is working to get the technology to market in the same timeframe, to support vehicles such as its Ioniq hybrid sedan.
The second-gen system, for both ICE end electric vehicles, builds on the first-gen system but includes semi-translucent solar panels as an option, making roof-mounted panels compatible for vehicles with panoramic sunroof.
It is able to charge an EV battery or an additional battery for an ICE vehicle, which Hyundai Motor Group says will increase vehicle exports due to greater compliance with ever-tightening CO2 emissions standards.
According to Hyundai, the second-gen system is a world-first solar charging technology for ICE vehicles.
The final system, still under pilot study, uses a solar-lid system that mounts onto both the bonnet and roof of the car, with a controller and battery included.
The system can develop up to 100Wh of energy per hour in ideal conditions. The controller manages the voltage and current to increase efficiency.
The controller transforms the electricity to the standard voltage, which is then either stored in the battery or used to supplement the loads of the vehicle’s AC generator. 
Hyundai Motor Group executive vice-president of engineering design division Jeong-Gil Park said the solar charging systems would reduce energy consumption for all customers.
“In the future, we expect to see many different types of electricity-generating technologies integrated into our vehicles,” he said. “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.
“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.”

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