A new kind of sunroof: Hyundai's solar-powered Sonata Hybrid

Published: 05 August 2019

► Hyundai Sonata Hybrid solar roof
► Photovoltaic cells recharge battery
► 'Can top up 60% of battery charge'

Hyundai has unveiled its first solar roof charging system on the Sonata Hybrid. It's a way of harnessing the sun's energy to top up the petrol-electric powertrains batteries.

Although more of a trickle charge, Hyundai claims '30-60% of a car's battery can be charged via solar energy' with six hours of daily charging.

Solar-powered cars: sci-fi or a current-day reality?

The photovoltaic cells are built into the Sonata's roof, where they top up the modestly sized hybrid system battery. The latest batch of full electric vehicles, with battery capacities of more than 50kWh, would likely take days, if not weeks, to charge up using solar.

Hyundai says it could add 807 miles of free motoring for owners in a typically bright location.

Sadly, the Sonata is not sold in Europe today; only buyers in Korea and North America can buy the hybrid model with its solar roof.

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By Tim Pollard

Editorial director of CAR's digital publishing arm. Motoring news magnet