Hyundai have officially released the latest version of their Sonata hybrid. Now on sale in South Korea, the new model features solar panels on its roof to help charge its battery. The Korean car maker has even claimed the solar roof can power up to 60% of the car’s battery if used for six hours a day.
Following in the footsteps of the hit and miss Toyota Prius solar roof and the more recent luxury Karma Revero, the 2020 model of Sonata Hybrid has returned with some renewable charging. The mid-size sedan now features a solar roof which Hyundai say offers up to 808 miles (1,300 kilometres) of additional range with six hours of daily charging.
Though Hyundai say the roof can power 60% of the battery, they do accept on average it will be somewhere more between 30-60%. Either way, the manufacturer hopes that by supporting the vehicle’s electric power source, the solar technology can help improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
The car also has an improved engine control system to ensure energy use is as efficient as possible. Part of which is a smaller battery pack that compensates for the added weight of the solar cells. Hyundai is also currently working on a second-generation solar roof too that would be semi-transparent to help the cabin receive some much needed natural light.
The new Hyundai Sonata hybrid is now on sale in South Korea and will soon be available in the US. However, unfortunately the company have no plans to sell the model in Europe, despite growing demand for eco-friendly cars. Find out more over at the Hyundai Website.
Earlier this year, Hyundai unveiled the Elevate concept at CES 2019 – an electric car with robotic legs that can be extended to drive and be used for walking.