South Korean automobile manufacturer, Hyundai Motor Company has launched its first ever car with a solar roof charging system. Hyundai executives speaking to the press said that the technology would be used on the latest version of its Sonata Hybrid and then introduced to other vehicles over the next several years.
Hyundai’s idea is that silicon solar panels and can be in charge mode while the vehicle is moving. The solar power derived from the systems will be attached to the automobiles roof and will support the car’s electric power source, boost fuel efficiency and lower carbon dioxide emissions.
Hyundai says that initially 30% of the car’s battery can be charged using the solar panel technology but that it expects to increase this to 60% within one to two years. Based upon an average of six hours of charge per day, the vehicle could increase travel distances by 1,300 kilometers per year.
Heui Won Yang, head of the Hyundai Motor Group’s Body Tech Unit, said in a written statement to South Korean media that the technology will allow customers to “actively tackle” issues related to the environment and automobile emissions.
Initially, the new solar panel vehicles will be sold in South Korea and then sold in the North American market. Because of European Union regulations, Hyundai does not have any current plans to sell the new automobiles in Europe.