The alliance between Audi and Alta Devices, a subsidiary of the Chinese company specializing in thin-film solar panels, Hanergy, will allow the German manufacturer to launch a prototype solar roof for electric vehicles before the end of 2017. Although at this time- there the system will only allow power systems such as air conditioning, the aim of the agreement is to ensure that the panels integrated into the roof recharge the traction battery.

“We are going to shape the solar car of the future”. The phrase from Ding Jian, vice president of Hanergy and head of Alta Devices when the initiative was announced, is a statement of intent on how far his partners hope to go.

Until then, the first step of this research and development project will be integrate thin film solar panels into panoramic glass roofs so that in the future virtually all car roofs will be covered with renewable energy collection cells.

The energy supplied by these systems will flow through the vehicle’s electrical system and allow the operation of the air conditioning or seat heating systems. Although reaching this point, something that is announced before the end of the year, is not new, since other companies like Nissan or Toyota have already used this technology, what emerges from this initiative is the announces that she will not go away. to stay there.

At a more advanced stage of this alliance, as reported by Audi, the goal is for the energy captured by the roof to recharge the vehicle’s battery. “It would be an important step on the road to sustainable and emission-free mobility”, according to Bernd Martens, one of Audi’s managers.

While waiting for this step to take shape, the launch of the prototype solar roof for electric vehicles is already a step. “The autonomy of electric vehicles plays a decisive role for our customers”, admits Martens, who assures that, with this roof you will gain in efficiency, which will have a direct impact on autonomy cars.

While, as of yet, not all technical details of the sunroof Audi is planning have been revealed, it has emerged that the panels will have an efficiency greater than 25% and which will be characterized by their thinness, their flexibility and, above all, their good performance in low light conditions and high temperature. Not surprisingly, these systems will be produced in California by Alta Devices, one of the industry’s heavyweights.

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