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Electromobility: Audis electric cars get a Solardach

Thursday, August 24th, 2017 | Gadgets

The Range Extender on the roof: Audi wants to equip its electric cars with solar cells on the roof, which deliver electricity on the road and relieve the battery. The first prototypes are scheduled for the end of the year.

The solar cells are thin film gallium arsenide cells from the Chinese manufacturer Alta Devices. They are first applied as a film to the panoramic glass roof of the car. Later, the whole roof of the electric car is to be coated with the cells.

Solar electricity operates the air conditioning
However, the current supplied by the solar cells is not initially fed into the battery. This is intended to operate the electric vehicle systems, including heating and air-conditioning. Thus, the battery is relieved and the range is extended indirectly. In the future, the cells will also charge the battery.
The integration of solar cells into electric cars is "a sustainable solution to increase their reach," says Bernd Martens, a member of the Audi Executive Board and responsible for procurement. To use solar cells to charge the battery is "a milestone on the road to sustainable, emission-free mobility."
Fisker Karma had a Solardach
The idea of ​​using solar cells as a range extender is not bad. However, they do not provide too much power. The automotive manufacturer Fisker had equipped his plug-in hybrid car Fisker Karma with solar cells on the roof. According to the manufacturer, however, this supplied only electricity for 300 kilometers per year.

Only solar powered vehicles such as the Solarworld Gran Turismo are extremely optimized for weight. The Solarauto Stella, developed in the Netherlands, which has a capacity of four persons, weighs just 380 kilograms.

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