German carmaker Audi AG [FWB:NSU] has signed a memorandum of understanding with Alta Devices Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Chinese solar firm Hanergy Thin Film Power Group Ltd. [HKG:0566], the latter said on Aug. 23.
The pair will first look to integrate thin-film cells into panoramic car roofs, which will help increase the vehicle’s driving range and make it easier to power on-board features, such as air conditioning. They will also look to use the cells to power the entire vehicle, which would help Audi in its goal for zero-emissions mobility and increase the proportion of solar energy used worldwide.
The two firms hope to roll out a prototype car with a thin-film powered roof by the end of this year.
Dr. Bernd Martens, Audi’s board member for procurement, believes that if the duo can use solar energy to directly charge a vehicle’s traction battery, it would be “a milestone along the way to achieving sustainable, emission-free mobility.”Keywords: Audi, Hanergy