From next year, Hyundai, a Korean automaker, will use solar panel charging technology for electric and hybrid vehicles.
For fuel-powered automobiles, the transparent solar panels can even be integrated into the roofs of the vehicles.
It is asserted that hybrid and gasoline-powered automobiles will benefit from increased mileage, decreased CO2 emissions, and improved fuel efficiency.
Solar roof paneling of three varieties is currently in development. One is made just for hybrid vehicles and can, depending on the weather, charge anywhere from 30 to 60 percent of the battery in a day.
The second can be used in panoramic sunroofs for cars with internal combustion engines, allowing light to pass through to the driver and passengers while charging the battery.
The final one, which is currently in the testing phase, will be for electric vehicles. It can be mounted on the hood to maximize energy output in addition to being used on the roof.
"We anticipate incorporating a wide range of electricity-generating technologies into our automobiles in the not-too-distant future. According to Hyundai Motor Group's Jeong-Gil Park, "the solar roof is the first of these technologies, and it will mean that automobiles will no longer passively consume energy but will begin to actively produce it."
The announcement of solar technology comes shortly after Swedish research showed that future electric cars could even store energy in their bodywork rather than in bulky batteries. The prospects for EVs are promising.