Transparent solar panels in sun roof extend range for electric cars

Transparent solar panels in sun roof extend range for electric cars

Technology News |
By Nick Flaherty

During the first step of their collaboration, Audi and Hanergy intend to integrate the solar panels produced by Alta Devices into a panoramic glass roof with a prototype by the end of the year. In future, almost the entire roof area will be covered with solar cells. The generated electricity flows into the wiring system and can, for example, supply the air-conditioning system or the seat heating to help boost the range of an electric car.

In the future, the engineers plan to use the solar power to directly charge the traction battery. 

This makes Audi is the first mainstream manufacturer to look to use solar panels. Earlier this year, crowdfunded startup Sono Motors in Munich announced plans for an electric vehicle covered with 330 solar cells integrated into the roof, doors, the trunk lid and the front bonnet to boost the range by an extra 30 kilometers per day.

The batteries in the Sion can be used as power source, providing up to 2.7 kW through the standard plug or up to 7.6 kW through an optional Type 2 connector. The bidirectionality of the electric system also enables the car to pump electricity back to the grid.

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