Hyundai Motor Company has launched its first hybrid car with a solar roof charging system, the new Sonata Hybrid.
Hyundai aims to address the issue of driving range innate with electric engines by outfitting silicon solar panels on the roofs of its cars. These solar panels can charge the car’s battery even while users are driving, providing an extra 30-60% charge during the day. Annually, the extra charge from the solar panels could increase travel distance by 1,300 km.
Hyundai paired the electric motor with a Smartstream G2.0 GDi HEV engine for a total output of 195ps. This mechanical-electric combo can travel 41-42 miles per gallon compared to the standard versions of the Sonata which can only go 26-31mpg.
Currently, the Sonata Hybrid is only available in South Korea, however, Hyundai plans to release the car in the North American market soon. Hyundai is also looking to outfit their future hybrids with this technology too.