Solar panels have been available on production models of some plug-in hybrid cars since 2010 but how effective are they really? It’s not a new concept by any stretch of the imagination as the 2015 Toyota Prius and 2012 Fisker Karma had solar panels. More recent attempts include the Tesla Cybertruck and the 2020 Hyundai Sonata Hybrid.
In theory, solar panels on cars should generate enough free energy from the sun to power the engine and internal equipment. However, if all the math makes sense in terms of total vehicle weight and available solar power, why aren’t all vehicle manufacturers doing it? The answer comes partly from looking at the new Hyundai Sonata Hybrid Limited model, which comes with a solar panel roof.