When you think of electric vehicles, you probably imagine Tesla’s Supercharger, or gas station-like centers where you go to top off the voltage. There’s another idea, though, that makes a lot of sense: sun energy. AltaDevices, a subsidiary of Hanergy that makes thin, flexible solar panels, is working with Audi to bring the power of solar to your car’s sunroof. The first prototype should be developed by the end of this year.
Integrating solar cells into an Audi “panoramic glass roof” is only the first step, says Alta. The future will see the entire car roof surface covered with cells that can supply non-essential systems like air-conditioning or seat heaters. Using solar power in this way can leave more of the main electric fuel systems available to increase the range of your EV. “The range of electric cars plays a decisive role for our customers. Together with Alta Devices and Hanergy, we plan to install innovative solar technology in our electric cars that will extend their range and is also sustainable,” said Audi’s Dr. Bernd Martens in a statement.