The integration of solar in new car designs is accelerating. The new Hyundai Sonata is an attempt, like the Lightyear One and Toyota’s new to-be-trialled Prius, to combat the perennial problem faced by EVs, namely, range anxiety.
Hyundai estimates that with six hours of charging in direct sunlight each day, the Sonata Hybrid could gain 1300 kilometers of extra electric driving a year. The solar roof system also works to reduce battery discharge when the vehicle is not in use.
There is a significant uptick in EV deployment that has been occurring around the world. The global stock of electric passenger cars passed 5 million in 2018, with an increase of 63% over the previous year, according to the International Energy Agency’s Global EV Outlook 2019.
Approximately 43% of electric cars were on the roads of China, with a total of 2.3 million. Europe accounted for 24% of the global fleet, followed by the U.S. at 22%. The IEA projects that EV sales will reach 44 million vehicles per year by 2030.
The Sonata solar hybrid has been revealed in the South Korea market, and is set for release in the United States in 2020.