Hyundai has recently released a new version of its hybrid car, Sonata. Sonata has solar panels located on its roof, thus allowing for the battery to be recharged while driving. The Korean car manufacturer, Hyundai, has claimed that about 30-60% of the car’s battery can be charged using the solar panels.
According to a statement by Hyundai, it has been claimed that panels on Sonata can deliver enough power to ‘increase drivers’ travel distance by an additional 1,300 km annually’. Although Hyundai has said that the solar roof system for Sonata ‘plays a supporting role’ to the hybrid engine, the company does take it as a test for creating potential all-electric models in the coming years.
Hyundai has also said that the new Sonata is currently on sale in Korea and will be made available in North America soon enough. However, there are no plans of selling the car in other regions as of right now. There is no word on the price of the solar roof featuring Sonata yet as well. In comparison, no sun-powered charging systems are currently available for the Toyota Prius and the luxury Karma Revero.
However, Hyundai is not the only company working on a car featuring solar panels on the roof of the car. Lightyear, a Dutch startup, is also busy developing Lightyear One which is an all-electric car that will rely on solar panels on its roof and bonnet while promising to deliver a range of about 800 kilometers. Lightyear has, however, stated that the range would be lower during the winter, thus potentially questioning the effectiveness of this model in regions that experience more annual cloud cover.
Nonetheless, it is good to see carmakers actually focusing on all-electric and hybrid cars. It is a significant step in moving towards a renewable and sustainable future free of air pollution. What do you think?