Together with China’s Hanergy Thin Film Power Group, Audi is looking to integrate solar cells into their panoramic roofs for upcoming models.
The German automaker stated that Alta Devices, a unit of the solar cell firm Hanergy, will be responsible for designing the solar-embedded panoramic roofs that will eventually boost the range of EVs by feeding solar energy directly into the internal electrical systems, like air conditioning and heated seats.
According to Audi, a prototype will be built by the end of this year, though unfortunately, no further details were released, as reported by Autonews.
Audi is also planning on launching three battery-electric cars by 2020, while looking to cover one third of its vehicle sales with fully electric powertrains by the year 2025. The company is also aiming to cut costs by about $12 billion by the year 2022, in order to fund a total shift from internal combustion engines to full electric.
This recent partnership between Audi and Hanergy is just one of many growing efforts within the automotive industry, directed at using solar power. Panasonic has already started producing a 180-watt array of solar cells that can be fixed to the roof of a car, while Nissan will install an add-on solar panel as an optional extra on the Leaf.