Hyundai’s Solar Panel Car Roof

As we approach the future of electric and hybrid cars, companies such as Hyundai have begun taking extra steps forward. According to MSNBC, Hyundai plans on launching a model of their Sonata with a roof equipped with solar panels. The idea seems to be attracting attention, and Hyundai plans to add this technology to other future models. 

Details

The solar panels are made of silicon, and cover the entire roof of the vehicle, capturing the maximum amount of sunlight. Hyundai says the panels are capable of charging 30-60% of the car’s battery. Although that percentage is not the best sign of efficiency, Hyundai also states that 6-hours of charge per day can add 1,300 kilometers (approximately 807 miles)  of travel distance per year. There are no details on what it would cost to replace the panels if they are damaged or if insurance would cover it. 

The Implication

The implications of this technology mean that people will be able to operate their vehicle and charge it. The convenience of not having to stop and charge or fuel up can help many people who live far from charging ports or gas stations. It also saves some money by using the freely available rays of the sun. 

Challenges: Faced

Additionally, one of the challenges facing electric cars today is a lack of charging ports. People can charge their vehicle at home, but sometimes you forget or run low on fuel. Unless you live in an area that already has charging ports available, an electric car may not be practical. But with solar panels on the roof, people can simply leave their car in the sun and/or drive and charge. Solar panels on the roof would take a big issue and make it a bit more practical. 

Take-Home Message

Ultimately, the future of electric cars seems to be rapidly approaching. The addition of solar panels on electric vehicles makes them more practical and efficient. As companies strive to improve the efficiency of their car, they may end up improving the efficiency of solar panels. It would be quite amazing to see vehicles running on 100% solar energy, but for now, we should be excited about the future. 

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