Korean firm is developing three different solar charging systems, for electric, hybrid and combustion-engined cars
James Attwood, digital editor
31 October 2018

Hyundai and Kia will introduce solar charging panels on selected models from 2019 onwards – including some with internal combustion engines.

The Hyundai Motor Group is currently developing three different types of solar roof, for cars with hybrid, full electric and internal combustion engine (ICE) powertrains respectively. While solar charging panels have been fitted to vehicles previously, including on the Toyota Prius Plug-in, this is believed to be the first time the technology will be applied to an ICE-only car.

The first type, due to arrive next year, is for hybrids. It's capable of charging 30-60% of the battery during a day, depending on the weather. The vehicle can then use that energy to reduce engine usage, thus increasing fuel economy and cutting CO2 emissions. 

The second is designed for ICE-only vehicles and features a semi-transparent solar roof that charges the vehicle's battery. That will be followed by a third system for fully electric vehicles, which will feature solar panels on both the roof and bonnet to maximise energy output.

All three types will use silicon solar panels that can generate up to 100Wh of electricity, which is then fed through a controller to increase efficiency before being sent to a battery.

It hasn't yet been confirmed which Hyundai and Kia vehicles will feature the technology first or when it's likely to become available in the UK.

Jeong-gil Park, Hyundai Motor Group’s engineering boss, said the panels were the first of “many different types of electricity-generating technologies” that would be integrated into the firm’s vehicles. 

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16

31 October 2018

Wow, solar panel tech has really come on recently then - "30-60%" of an electric car's battery from a car roof sized area is pretty good.

31 October 2018
typos1 wrote:

Wow, solar panel tech has really come on recently then - "30-60%" of an electric car's battery from a car roof sized area is pretty good.

Its only for a hybrid's battery, so less impressive, but still great, its free energy after all.

31 October 2018

I actually can't belive this is not adopted by all manufacturers. At some point in the future we will be able to park our cars and get them fully charged by the sun without even needing to plug them in. Also- why stop with the roof- what about the bonet & boot lid for starters? 

31 October 2018
kowalski99 wrote:

I actually can't belive this is not adopted by all manufacturers. At some point in the future we will be able to park our cars and get them fully charged by the sun without even needing to plug them in. Also- why stop with the roof- what about the bonet & boot lid for starters? 

The article does state that the full EV models will have panels built into the bonnet too...

31 October 2018
They are talking about 100W. That means it would take about 130 hours of full on sun with no shadow at all to fully charge the traction battery in my Chevy Volt (Same car as the Ampera). I somehow don't think it's going to contribute much, and the car is kept in a garage anyway.
That's the best case scenario. As someone who has lived with solar energy for several years, it should also be noted that the output of solar panels falls dramatically with cloud or even minor partial shading of the car.
Even if the panels captured 100% of the solar energy hitting the car, a car simply doesn't have enough surface area to capture anything worthwhile. (Panels with current technology are closer to 25% efficiency.)

31 October 2018

Seems to have taken an awful long time for this tech to find it's way in to production cars. Seem to remember reading about solar powered cars ages ago. What's been the problem adding solar cells on production cars? I'd have thought the likes of Tesla would have adopted this, Nissan with their Leaf or Toyota with their Prius which now seems to have been around forever. Seems strange that Hyundai will be the first.

Will the system really be as efficient as they claim?

31 October 2018

30% to 60% of the hybrid battery. That's a tiny capacity compared to a full EV only battery.

31 October 2018

The maximum actual solar energy available is about 1kw per square meter, at very best you can convert about 15% of that into electrical energy. What is the available surface area of a car, excluding glass and structure maybe 3sq metres? so 450w/h.

An Ioniq hybrid has a 1.6kw/h battery so 3 hours of good sunshine could see it topped in theory. Could add a handful of free miles on it.

The other issue is you have to have somewhere to put it. The car would need to be programmed to try to stop with a mostly discharged battery, not so easy to do as a fair charge is kept to allow the motor to assist engine performance when needed. How will the car know its going to be parked up for a long time soon and its pretty bright so as to use battery capacity now.

31 October 2018

Upto a 100w do they mean .1kwh?  I'm no electrician but if it's 0.1kwh in ideal conditions how the hell can it recharge a 5kwh hybrid battery to 60% of it's capacity in 12hrs of daylight?

And .1kwh would have an even smaller effect of a BEV.

If the above is true it'll never finance itself. (remember I'm a BEV fanboy)

31 October 2018
Sorry if I missed something, but what are the solar cells for on the ICE vehicles? I'd assume the energy will be stored in a small battery to power the air conditioning, etc. From the outside this only makes sense if the cells were installed on EV's or hybrids only.

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