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Solar Charging Tech Coming Soon to Hyundai Vehicles

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Hyundai vehicles will soon get electricity from solar charging panels installed in the roof or hood.

On Wednesday, Hyundai and Kia announced their collaboration on this new technology. These solar charging panels will boost the efficiency and range of electric and hybrid vehicles. They will also help charge batteries used with regular internal-combustion engines, helping to improve the efficiency and CO2 emissions of these vehicles.

“In the future, various types of electricity-generating technologies, including the solar charging system, will be connected to vehicles,” said Hyundai executive Jeong-Gil Park, who helped develop the new technology. “This will enable them to develop from a passive device that consumes energy to a solution that actively generates energy.”

Hyundai’s solar charging technology will include solar panels, a controller, and a battery. Once electricity is produced in the panels, it’s converted to regular voltage by the controller, then stored in the battery or used with the vehicle’s generator.

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This technology will arrive in a series of three generations. The first-generation system will feature silicon solar panels mounted on the roofs of hybrid models. Depending on weather conditions, it should be able to provide a 30% to 60% charge each day.

The second-generation system will use semi-transparent solar panels as part of a panoramic sunroof. It will be used to charge both electric vehicle batteries and batteries on internal combustion vehicles.

The third-generation system will feature a solar lid of lightweight panels mounted on the hood and roof of eco-friendly vehicles, helping to increase their efficiency.

According to Hyundai, the first generation of this technology will show up in vehicles produced after 2019.

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