SAN FRANCISCO, April 17 — Available mainly on the North American market, where it competes with the Toyota Prius, the Hyundai Sonata’s unique feature is its solar roof, which allows it to gain up to 1300 km of driving distance range over a year.

In its 2022 version, the Sonata’s hybrid roof allows the car to add about 3-4 miles (up to 6 km) every day with an average sun exposure of about 6 hours. Depending on the amount of sunlight, this additional mileage can total up to 1300 km throughout the year. On average, according to the South Korean manufacturer, the roof boosts the car’s energy efficiency by about 7 per cent. The presence of a solar roof also makes it possible to considerably reduce the occasions of finding oneself with a completely discharged battery.

The roof is composed of a structure of silicon solar panels. When sunlight is absorbed, electricity is produced and stored in the car’s battery. This allows the car to travel longer distances. In fact, Hyundai is following on an initiative taken by its competitor Toyota almost 10 years ago with its Prius. The idea is to absorb energy in order to significantly increase the vehicle’s range.

Although the Sonata is not officially distributed in many regions, Hyundai has indicated that it plans to roll out this technology on other models in the future. Another manufacturer, the lesser-known Dutch company Lightyear, plans to release an electric sedan covered with solar panels this year with a record range of over 700 km on a single charge. — ETX Studio