Hyundai and Kia tap solar panel car roof

Self-regenerating batteries aren’t a big thing, yet, for now. The first steps are currently being worked on, which could possibly be the solid-state battery, and it’s become more likely a trend for development nowadays. However, this does not mean that it’s a long road to batteries that need less charging time and that there are no shortcuts.  

Thankfully, for the sake of battery efficiency in automobiles, Hyundai and Kia are exploring external electricity-generators to charge their cars’ batteries. The two South Korean automakers are putting solar panels on the roof of their vehicles. Now, this may not be the kind which can power an entire electric motor but, at least, we’re advancing.

“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. 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.”

Solar panel on automobiles isn’t completely a hot news. Hybrid and EVs from different car manufacturers have already tapped into solar energy sometime before this one. Apparently, those realms were where solar power proved to be just as good as doing minor tasks like powering air-condition fans. Well, at least, an energy source for less cost, right?

The two Korean brands claim that the solar roof can charge the car’s battery from 30 to 60 percent per day. This output can vary depending on the weather, which means if it’s rainy, the numbers will obviously drop.

Currently, Hyundai and Kia are developing three solar cells for internal combustion engine-powered (ICE) cars and all-electric vehicles. The first-generation solar panel roof technology is designed for hybrids, the second-gen will feature a semi-transparent solar roof for ICE models, while the third-gen's expected to boast a lightweight solar roof for EVs. Solar roofs on Hyundai and Kia units will be launched in 2020 and is expected to help boost the companies’ efforts in meeting the global regulations on vehicle emission.

So, what? Does having a solar roof mean you always need to park your car under the scorching heat of the sun? You know, to get that idle charging while you buy the groceries. Well, we have an idea. Why can’t someone make a solar car cover that’s: one, easy to deploy and fold away; two, has a heat-resisting material underneath the solar panels. That way, parking under the sun wouldn’t be a real problem. Everyone’s welcome to play around the idea, folks.

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