New Car Technology? Just Look To The Sun
Audi is working on a new technology that could be a big breakthrough for electric vehicle technology. The main focus is on improving the overall range of these battery-powered vehicles. The auto manufacturer announced that it is trying several things out that could accomplish this through solar technology. According to the company, they are planning to introduce it to their vehicles. Prototypes are set to be include the technology by the end of the year.
A company called Alta Devices is partnering with the car company and Audi expects to embed the solar cell technology into the panoramic roofs of new electric vehicles. Though the solar technology may be an unlikely candidate to directly power a battery for additional energy, Audi does see the opportunity in using them to power things like air conditioning units and entertainment systems.
“As the first step, Audi and Hanergy want to integrate Alta Devices’ thin-film solar cells into a panoramic glass roof…the electricity they generate will flow into the car’s electrical system and can supply for example the air-conditioning system or the seat heaters – a gain in efficiency that has a direct positive impact on the range of an electric vehicle.”
The general effectiveness of the solar panel technology will be based on many environmental factors. Think about it, if there is minimal exposure to the sun, how could these panels be utilized. There is a similar technology that is used by Toyota on its Prius hybrid car. “That would be a milestone along the way to achieving sustainable, emission-free mobility,” said Audi Board of Management Member for Procurement Dr. Bernd Martens.
“In the future, almost the entire roof surface is to be covered with solar cells.”
The jury is still out on whether or not this type of technology will be deployed to the masses on a global scale. While companies continue to focus on battery powered vehicles, we may begin to see more ideas like solar, come up in conversation.