Audi and China’s Hanergy to sign MOU to put solar cells on car roofs

Hanergy Thin Film Power Group’s wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, Alta Devices, has recently signed a Memorandum of Understandings (MOU) with Audi AD on a strategic co-operation for harnessing thin film solar cell technology. The co-operation between the two underscores the German carmaker’s efforts to achieve environment friendly and emission-free mobility to Audi’s electric cars.

As per the MOU released, Alta Devices is expected to provide the gallium arsenide thin film solar cells for Audi’s panoramic glass roofs. Ultimately, both the companies plan to harness solar energy to provide the additional primary power required for cars. The photovoltaic cells on the car roofs will be used to harvest solar energy to power the air conditioning, seat heaters, and other electrical functions, thus enhancing the car’s performance and boosting the mileage. Moreover, in the future models, the two companies also plan to charge a car’s battery by using solar power.

This partnership has made Audi to be the latest global premium automaker to join the trend of installing photovoltaics on car roofs. Many other carmakers are already in the league of offering solar roofs in their models. Tesla, for instance have come up with a solar roof in its new-launched Model 3. Nissan, on other hand, already offers an option of solar panel for its Leaf electric cars. Moreover, even Toyota, have offered cars with solar cell and has delivered over 1350 new Prius plug-in cars in Japan.

It is no surprise that the use of photovoltaic technology isn car roofs is gaining traction as it promises zero-emission- what most of the carmakers are aiming for. As per sources, Audi aims to deliver one-third of its cars with complete electric drivetrains and plug-in hybrids by 2025. For the record, in 2017, Audi delivered 591,500 cars in China and sold more than 1.87 million cars worldwide.

Meanwhile, Hanergy is seeking to co-operate with several car manufacturers to take its production of solar devices to the mass market. Hanergy has itself presented 4 solar-powered electric vehicles last year, which are built to have range of 80 to 100 kilometers.

As this partnership has combined the two companies to grow on the effort of using photovoltaics on more car rooftops, it is expected to bring more sustainability in the automotive industry. The companies have schedule to launch a vehicle prototype by the end of this year.

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Ojaswita Kutepatil

Ojaswita Kutepatil develops content for Market Size Forecasters. A mechanical engineer by qualification, worked as a BDE and Technical Engineer before switching her profession to content writing. As an Associate Content writer, where she pens down write-ups pertaining to the market research industry...

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