Hyundai Motor has just announced that they are launching their first car with a solar roof charging system. This groundbreaking move will provide vehicles with more electrical power, and increase both fuel efficiency and driving range.

The New Sonata Hybrid will feature a solar roof charging system that supports the vehicle’s electric power source, improving fuel efficiency and reducing CO2 emissions. The system has a structure of silicon solar panels that are mounted on the car’s roof, and it can charge 30 to 60% of the battery per day while driving. With six hours of charging per day, it has been said it will increase drivers’ travel distance by an extra 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) annually.

The system is comprised of a solar panel and a controller, and it produces electricity when solar energy activates the solar panel’s surface, which converts this energy by using photons of light from the sun. This then makes electron-hole pairs in silicon cells, which generate solar electricity.

This entire process creates electricity that is converted into the standard voltage by the controller before being stored in the battery.

“Solar roof technology is a good example of how Hyundai Motor is moving towards becoming a clean mobility provider,” said Heui Won Yang, Senior Vice President and Head of Body Tech Unit of Hyundai Motor Group. “The technology allows our customers to actively tackle emissions issue. We are striving to further expand the application of the technology beyond eco-friendly vehicle line up to vehicles with internal combustion engine.”

The New Sonata is currently being sold in South Korea, and it will be on sale in North America sometime in the coming months. Find out more about it in the video below.

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