A Solar Tonneau Cover Could Benefit an Upcoming Hyundai

Hyundai is always looking at new things that it could do in the automotive space, and it’s why Hyundai is exploring flying cars among other things. While those flying cars will probably be a long way away, something that may be coming soon for Hyundai owners is a solar tonneau cover. Here’s a look at Hyundai’s potential solar tonneau cover and the mystery Hyundai it might be paired with in the future. 

A look at solar tonneau covers

A white 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz indoors that could benefit from a tonneau cover.
2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz | Getty Images

According to Autoblog, this solar tonneau cover was created by a Canadian company called Worksport, and it was announced last year. This solar-powered tonneau cover, called TerraVis, is like its name implies, a tonneau cover with solar panels on it. That being said, it’s a modular and rugged system. When the solar cells get depleted, owners can swap them out for fresh ones. 

The solar panels have an efficiency of 22%, which means it can turn 22% of the sun’s energy into actual electricity. This is about average for a solar panel, as solar roofs on cars might get about 20% efficiency.

Like any solar panels, the amount of power that TerraVis can generate will vary based on how big of a truck bed it’s covering and how sunny it is outside. 

According to Autoblog, a pickup truck could probably expect to generate more than 1 kW of electricity from using TerraVis. Having solar panels on a tonneau cover isn’t the only thing TerraVis offers, though. It’ll also come with a 1.5-kW battery and 1.5-kW power outlets. 

The Hyundai Santa Cruz may be getting a solar tonneau cover

Worksport’s creation has created a lot of hype, including in the corporate world. According to Autoblog, Hyundai has gotten into a formal agreement with Worksport to create a solar tonneau cover for the Santa Cruz pickup truck. It’s still very early, and this agreement will allow Worksport to create a prototype version of TerraVis that’s designed for the Santa Cruz.

The Canadian company will have until October 2022 to present to Hyundai that prototype. Hyundai could accept or reject the prototype, so there’s currently no guarantee that the Santa Cruz will get a solar tonneau cover in the future. If Hyundai accepts it, then the official name for the tonneau cover will be Solis rather than TerraVis. 

Autoblog reported that solar panels on trucks don’t usually make sense unless the truck is an EV or if it’s a work truck. The Santa Cruz is neither of those things. In fact, its small size actually hurts its ability to generate solar power. Since its truck bed is much smaller than a full-size pickup’s, the Solis would only be able to generate about 0.65 kW instead of 1 kW. 

A mysterious, upcoming Hyundai model may benefit from this as well

In addition to this news, Autoblog wrote that Hyundai wanted to explore having a solar tonneau cover for a, “yet to be announced vehicle.” Nobody really knows what Hyundai means by this vague statement, but it definitely has people interested. 

However, due to the fact that solar tonneau covers are great options for EVs and work trucks, that narrows down the speculation a lot. The world is working on phasing out conventional vehicles like the Santa Cruz and racing toward an EV future. Hyundai could very well announce an EV truck in the future, and it could have a solar tonneau cover as well. 

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