Audi and Alta Devices designing solar cells for electric car roofs

Audi AG and Alta Devices collaborate on designing thin solar cells to be inserted into the window glass roof to power various functions inside the car cabin. The energy produced by the solar cells will be incorporated into the electrical system and will be used for various facilities such as cabin cooling or seat heating systems.

Tinuku Audi and Alta Devices designing solar cells for electric car roofs

The automotive giant headquartered in Ingolstadt and the Sunnyvale solar energy company is developing thin, flescible solar cells and has an efficiency rate of over 25 percent. The device is designed to work well in low light and high temperatures.

Audi hopes the first prototype can begin to be applied by the end of 2017 and if the technology can be mass produced, they will use for future electric vehicles. The next technology from solar cells is projected to charge the main battery electric car.

"It will be a milestone for sustainable emission-free mobility," Audi Board of Management Member for Procurement. Bernd Martens said.

The idea of exploiting energy sources from sunlight is not the first time automotive manufacturers use, although the Audi system is one step ahead of previous technologies. The sixth generation Mazda 929 in 1991 and Ford C-Max have solar panels on the roof and similar systems exist in the latest version of the Toyota Prius and Sono Motors.