Should Your Car Have Solar Panels?
Popular Mechanics South Africa|Popular Mechanics March/April 2021
You can get them on the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited (only available in the US, for $35 300), which I tested for a week, under existentially strange but mechanically ideal conditions. Except for a 16 km drive to the grocery store and back, the car sat in the driveway, its 205watt system earning free, clean power, I thought.
Alexander George

Hyundai estimates that a day with at least six hours of good sun will gain a little more than 3 km of range. But those figures are for a car in Los Angeles – where a lack of driving has cleared pollution. The cloudcovered north-east of the US, where I was, wasn’t as efficient. During my week with it, if the panels were working, I couldn’t tell. Maybe they were gathering power to run the air conditioning and radio. But the car’s range calculator (552 miles, or 888 km) was the same at dawn as it was at dinner time. I thought about what Tesla’s CEO said a few years ago: ‘The least efficient place to put solar is on the car.’

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