Quantum to produce solar roof for Fisker Karma

Summary:Automotive energy firm Quantum says it will begin producing solar roofs with "extreme curvature" for the plug-in hybrid Fisker Karma.

Lake Forest, Calif.-based Quantum Fuel Systems Technologies announced on Wednesday that it received $9.4 million for the first production series of solar roofs for the Fisker Karma.

The company says the roof will be "the largest continuous and most highly curved solar roof in a passenger car." It will use technology developed in partnership with Germany's Asola to preserve the lifespan of the solar cells in such extreme curvature.

The benefits, according to Fisker:

  • Converts radiated power from the sun into stored electric energy, "effectively increasing the range."
  • The solar roof charges the lithium-ion battery to regulate the interior climate control systems.
  • Custom honeycomb design and color treatment "complement every Karma paint option." (An awfully expensive piece of trim, no?)
  • Provides up to 200 miles of annual emission-free voltaic driving.

The plug-in hybrid-electric Karma is the product of Irvina, Calif.-based Fisker Automotive, which has staked its name on next-generation, "green" cars. The company -- which Quantum co-founded --  closed a U.S. Department of Energy loan for $528.7 million in April of this year to develop two plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, including the Karma, as well as a four door sports sedan and a line of "family-oriented" models.

The companies will begin volume production of the solar roof in early 2011.

More on the partnership, in a video:

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

Topics: Innovation

About

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. He is also the former editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation. He writes about business, technology and design now but used to cover finance, fashion and culture. He was an intern at Money, Men's Vogue, Popular Mechanics and the New York Daily Ne... Full Bio

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