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Hyundai, Kia Aiming for Solar Roofs Starting in 2019

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Image: Hyundai

Think about a parked vehicle that slowly sucks dino juice from huge, underground deposits by means of its tires. That’s primarily what Hyundai Motor Group needs to do with its automobiles, the one distinction being the power supply and the path it’s coming from.

Regardless of being talked about for years, photo voltaic roofs on cars haven’t seen widespread adoption. Value, practicality, and rollover safety considerations imply the most important consumer of the know-how is the Japanese and European-market Toyota Prius Prime. Now, Hyundai needs to go photo voltaic in an enormous method, beginning subsequent yr.

The automaker needs consumers to know that photo voltaic roofs aren’t ineffective for regular, fuel-swilling automobiles, both.

There’s three photo voltaic charging methods underneath improvement, Hyundai Motor Group claims, concentrating on electric, hybrid, and ICE Hyundai and Kia automobiles. Clearly, the most important advantage of a roof containing a photovoltaic array is that EV or PHEV automobiles can cost themselves whereas parked, eliminating a few of the have to plug into an electric grid. Whereas the quantity of present headed to the car’s battery wouldn’t be giant, it might make a distinction.

With out mentioning the markets the place it plans to supply the know-how, Hyundai stated the primary system — utilized to hybrids — will develop into obtainable in 2019. It didn’t point out fashions, both, however Hyundai’s Ioniq and Kia’s Niro appear to be probably candidates. There’s additionally the Sonata and Optima to think about.

In a hybrid mannequin, the photo voltaic roof can apparently prime up a propulsion battery by 30 or 60 % over the course of a day. Relying on vehicle, the know-how may additionally make it to the hood, boosting the quantity charging energy. The utmost era capability of those methods is one hundred watts.

Utilizing a Ioniq Hybrid for instance, a max era photo voltaic array working beneath optimum circumstances would prime up the car’s 1.6 kWh battery to the tune of fifty % in eight hours, although a smaller, roof-solely system would imply much less cost. A plug-in hybrid variant would possible want greater than every week to completely cost its eight.9 kWh battery. As for the 28 kWh Ioniq Electrical, nicely, you’d best deliver that charging cord.

A system designed solely for use with typical fuel-powered automobiles would make the most of a semi-clear roof and ship present to the car’s battery. This is able to be nice in chilly climes, assuming the solar peeks above the horizon (or by way of the clouds), although you’d additionally need some type of insulation beneath that roof.

Whether or not we’ll see this know-how in North America stays to be seen. Street safety regulators put the kibosh on the photo voltaic-roofed Prius after it was decided the panel would shatter throughout a rollover. Hyundai says its panels are product of silicon, although its crashworthiness isn’t but recognized. That stated, if photo voltaic isn’t a go, one thing else may present as much as generate a cash-saving cost (doubtless at a further expense to the customer).

Jeong-gil Park, the automaker’s engineering chief, stated photo voltaic panels aren’t the extent of its electrical energy-producing tech.

“Sooner or later, we anticipate to see many several types of electrical energy-producing applied sciences  built-in into our automobiles,” Park stated in a press release. “The photo voltaic roof is the primary of those applied sciences, and can imply that cars not passively eat power, however will start to supply it actively.”

[Images: Hyundai]

– Hyundai, Kia Aiming for Solar Roofs Starting in 2019 –

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