By Anmar Frangoul / CNBC / 31 October 2018 

  • Three kinds of solar roof charging systems are being developed.
  • The plan is for the panels to supplement hybrid, internal combustion and battery electric vehicles.

Main image: The solar panels could help to reduce emissions and boost range. 

Hyundai and Kia have unveiled plans to install “solar roof” charging on a number of Hyundai Motor Group vehicles.

In an announcement Wednesday, the Hyundai Motor Group said that electricity generating solar panels would be “incorporated” onto either the roof or hood of vehicles.

The plan is for the panels to supplement hybrid, internal combustion engine and battery electric vehicles with extra electrical power. This will, Hyundai said, help to increase both range and fuel efficiency and reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Three kinds of solar roof charging systems are being developed.

The first-generation system, which is set to be launched from 2019, is being developed for hybrid vehicles. The second-generation system is for internal combustion engine vehicles and will feature a semi-transparent solar roof.

Hyundai said the third-generation system was undergoing testing. The idea is for it to be added to the hood and roof of battery electric vehicles.

“In the future, we expect to see many different types of electricity-generating technologies integrated into our vehicles,” Jeong-Gil Park, the Hyundai Motor Group’s executive vice president of its Engineering and Design Division, said in a statement Wednesday.

“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.


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