Audi Cooperates with Alta Devices on Automobiles with Solar Roofs
Audi and Alta Devices, a subsidiary of solar-cell specialist, Hanergy Thin Film Power, plan to work together to integrate solar cells into panoramic glass roofs of Audi models. With this cooperation, the partners aim to generate solar energy to increase the range of Audi electric vehicles. The first prototype will be developed by the end of 2017. As the first step, Audi and Alta Devices will integrate solar cells into a panoramic glass roof. In the future, because Alta’s technology is uniquely flexible, thin, and efficient, almost the entire roof surface is to be covered with solar cells. The electricity generated from the cells will flow into the car’s electric system and can supply, for example, the air-conditioning system and seat heaters – a gain in efficiency that has a direct positive impact on the range of an Audi electric vehicle. “The range of electric cars plays a decisive role for our customers. Together with Alta Devices and Hanergy, we plan to install innovative solar technology in our electric cars that will extend their range and is also sustainable,” stated Audi Board of Management Member for Procurement, Dr. Bernd Martens. At a later stage, solar energy could directly charge the traction battery of Audi electric vehicles. “That would be a milestone along the way to achieving sustainable, emission-free mobility,” continued Martens. The green electricity will be generated by Alta Devices’ innovative solar cells. These solar cells are very thin and flexible, hold the world-record for efficiency, and perform extremely well in low light and high temperature environments. Dr. Jian Ding, SVP of Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd., CEO of Alta Devices, Inc. and co-leader of the Audi/Hanergy Thin Film Solar Cell Research and Development Project, said "This partnership with Audi is Alta Devices first cooperation with a high-end auto brand. By combining Alta’s continuing breakthroughs in solar technology with Audi’s drive toward the future of the auto industry, we will define the solar car of the future.”
About Alta Devices
Alta Devices is (EM)POWERING THE UNPLUGGED WORLD™ by delivering the world’s most efficient, thin and flexible mobile power technology. By converting light of any kind into electricity, Alta Devices AnyLight™ power technology extends the energy source of a system, and in many cases, completely cuts the traditional power cord. The solution can be completely integrated into the final system, and is ideal for use in unmanned systems, satellites, consumer electronics, sensors, automotive, remote exploration, or anywhere size, weight, and mobility matter. Alta Devices holds world records for energy conversion efficiency and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. For more information, visit https://www.altadevices.com. Alta Devices is a Hanergy company.
The Audi Group, with its brands Audi, Ducati and Lamborghini, is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the premium segment. It is present in more than 100 markets worldwide and produces at 16 locations in twelve countries. 100 percent subsidiaries of AUDI AG include Audi Sport GmbH (Neckarsulm), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy) and Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (Bologna, Italy). In 2016, the Audi Group delivered to customers about 1.868 million automobiles of the Audi brand, 3,457 sports cars of the Lamborghini brand and 55,451 motorcycles of the Ducati brand. In the 2016 fiscal year, AUDI AG achieved total revenue of €59.3 billion and an operating profit of €3.1 billion. At present, approximately 88,000 people work for the company all over the world, more than 60,000 of them in Germany. Audi focuses on sustainable products and technologies for the future of mobility.
About Hanergy Thin Film Power
Hanergy Thin Film Power is the world’s leading thin-film solar technology enterprise with major businesses in research and development, design and assembly of large-scale thin-film solar turnkey production lines, as well as the development and operation of downstream solar power projects and application products. Hanergy Thin Film Power entered the solar power industry and grew rapidly since 2009, by continuing to fulfill the equipment sales agreements of thin-film solar turnkey production lines, and further extending the business to the downstream area of solar power.
Alta Devices developing solar roof for future Audi EVs
A panoramic glass roof embedded with solar cells is under development by Audi and its partner Alta Devices. The first prototype is now only months away, the German company claims. Alta Devices, a subsidiary of Chinese solar-cell specialist Hanergy, is working with Audi towards a goal of increasing the range of the company's forthcoming e-tron electric models. Audi and Hanergy say they intend to integrate Alta Devices' thin-film solar cells into a panoramic glass roof. Eventually, almost the entire roof surface is to be covered with these cells. Harvested electricity will then flow into the car's electrical system. This could power the A/C system or seat heaters, Audi says, which in turn adds range to an electric vehicle. "The range of electric cars plays a decisive role for our customers. Together with Hanergy, we plan to install innovative solar technology in our electric cars that will extend their range and is also sustainable," stated Bernd Martens, who is the member for Procurement on Audi AG's board of management. At a later stage, solar energy could directly charge the traction battery. "That would be a milestone along the way to achieving sustainable, emission-free mobility," continued Martens. The solar cells which are being tested have a claimed efficiency of more than 25 per cent and are said to be very thin and flexible. Furthermore they reportedly perform very well in conditions of low light and high temperature. Ding Jian, senior vice president of Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Limited, CEO of Alta Devices, Inc. and co-leader of the Audi/Hanergy Thin Film Solar Cell Research and Development Project, said: "This partnership with Audi is Alta Devices' first cooperation with a high-end auto brand. By combining Alta's continuing breakthroughs in solar technology and Audi's drive toward a sustainable mobility of the future, we will shape the solar car of the future". Audi's first series production electric model is due to enter production at its Forest plant in Brussels in 2018. This will be a crossover and may be called, simply, Audi e-tron.