Hyundai has launched its first hybrid car in Korea, unveiling the Sonata Hybrid outfitted with a solar roof that helps recharge the sedan’s battery pack.
In an announcement on Friday (2 August), Hyundai said that the company will use solar technology on its latest version of Sonata Hybrids and will be introduced to other vehicles over the coming years, beating automakers experimenting with solar panels such as Tesla, Toyota and Lightyear One to market.
Silicon solar panels have been attached to the roof and can charge the vehicle while in motion. Solar-based technologies have not been limited to land-based models, but this is the first car that has been successfully brought to market.
Hyundai added that 30% to 60% of the car’s battery could be charged using the new solar technology. With six hours of charge per day, this could increase overall travel distances by 1,300 kilometres per year. There are also hopes that by supporting the vehicle’s electric power source, the solar roof technology might help improve fuel efficiency and further reduce carbon emissions.