The Canadian company Worksport has been making tonneau covers for pick-up trucks since 2011. It announced a solar-powered tonneau cover last year that it says can produce more than 1,000 watts of power, depending on the size of the pickup bed. It appears that the Hyundai America Technical Center (HATCI), the design, technology and engineering division for all group vehicles sold in North America, has taken notice. HATCI entered into a formal agreement with and provided CAD data to Worksport to prototype what is called the Solis solar neteau, and an energy storage unit called COR, for the Santa Cruz pickup truck. Here’s the fascinating part: It’s also being considered “for Hyundai’s yet-to-be-announced vehicle.”
It appears the Solis is what the customer-facing side of Worksport calls the TerraVis, the sun canopy announced last year, pictured above on a Toyota pickup. The site for that product says that modular monocrystalline solar panels with an efficiency of about 22% are mounted in the busbar of the tonneau. That modularity means empty cells can be traded for new units. The captured energy is fed into a modular power bank of individual 2 kW power units, which are attached to the inner wall of the bed. The final unit is a portable battery bank with a capacity of 1.5 kilowatts, equipped with a 1500 watt AC converter and four 1500 watt outlets.
Given the size of the Santa Cruz, Worksport says the prototype tonneau cover will be capable of generating 650 watts of power, depending on conditions. Worksport has until October this year to present its prototype at Hyundai headquarters, and both parties “plan to explore the benefits of each other’s products in tandem to determine the viability of a future partnership.”
Solar panels and bed-mounted power banks in the automotive industry usually arise in discussions of electric pickup trucks and work trucks, neither of which describes the Santa Cruz. Of course, we’re interested in Hyundai’s plans for its small lifestyle dumper, and especially interested in the “yet to be announced” Hyundai.
As for the public, the TerraVis site is informing potential retail customers that it is “currently in the design and pre-production phase of the TerraVis and the TerraVis Cor” and is working to set up a facility to manufacture the sun canopy and energy storage system. .