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Kia and Hyundai to introduce solar roof chargers from 2019

Kia and Hyundai have announced they’ll introduce solar roof charging on both plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and internal combustion products from 2019.

Kia and Hyundai will roll out solar roof charging on selected plug-in hybrid, battery electric and internal combustion engine products from 2019 to reduce CO2 emissions and fuel consumption and improve range. The roof charging panels are intended as a supplementary power system.

In a statement, Hyundai said, “Hyundai Motor Group is developing three types of solar roof charging systems: The first-generation system is for hybrid vehicles, while the second-generation technology brings a semi-transparent solar roof system to ICE vehicles. The third generation of the technology will see the introduction of a lightweight solar roof for battery electric vehicles”.

“In the future, we expect to see many different types of electricity-generating technologies integrated into our vehicles. The solar roof is the first of these technologies, and will mean that automobiles no longer passively consume energy, but will begin to produce it actively,” said the developer of the technology Jeong-Gil Park, Executive Vice President of the Engineering and Design Division of Hyundai Motor Group. “It is an exciting development for us, designing a technology for vehicle owners to help them shift from being energy users to being energy producers.”

There will be three generations of charging system, Hyundai said. The first one will be used on hybrid models from a structure of silicon solar panels integrated into a standard car roof. “This system is capable of charging 30 to 60 per cent of the battery over the course of a normal day, depending on weather conditions and other environmental factors,” Hyundai said.

Hyundai and Kia to introduce solar roof charging

The second-generation system will be semi-transparent and designed for internal combustion engines. The semi-transparent technologies can be integrated with a panoramic sunroof, letting light through into the cabin, whilst charging the vehicle’s battery at the same time. Applying solar charging systems to ICE vehicles will help them comply with ever more stringent global environmental laws regulating CO2 emissions. 

The third-generation system, is currently in testing. It is designed to be applied to the hood and roof of battery electric vehicle models in order to maximize energy output. 


Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober was born in the shadow of Mount Panorama in Bathurst and, so, it was inevitable he’d fall into work as a motoring writer. He began his motoring career in 2000 reviewing commercial vehicles, before becoming editor of Caravan & Motorhome magazine. He then moved to MOTOR Magazine before going freelance and contributing to Overlander 4WD, 4×4 Australia, TopGear Australia, Men’s Health, Men’s Fitness, The Australian, CARSguide, and many more.