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Quantum to produce solar roof for Fisker Karma

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