Concentrated EV Sun Juice

Thursday 2nd January 2014

Many concept cars are futuristic, wonderful beasts that are unlikely to be allowed no the road let alone be practical. But Ford have revealed a concept car that is based on a very solid current model, but with a concept feature that can spread across their extensive range.

The unveiling of the Ford C-MAX Solar Energi offers plenty of green sustainability. It is a plug-in hybrid but has the advantage of the Solar in it’s name obviously referring to access to a renewable energy source. The car is bedecked with SunPower’s X21 solar cells covering 1.5 square meters of the roof, providing a capacity of 300-350 watts.

This C-MAX comes with an important extra that can mean you do not need to plug it in, as it includes a solar concentrator along with sun-tracking technology. quote Ford as stating: “Similar in concept to a magnifying glass, the patent-pending system tracks the sun as it moves from east to west, drawing enough power from the sun through the concentrator each day to equal a four-hour battery charge (8 kWh).

“The result is a concept vehicle that takes a day’s worth of sunlight to deliver the same performance as the conventional C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, which draws its power from the electrical grid. The C-MAX Energi gets a combined best MPGe in its class, with EPA-estimated 108 city/92 highway/100 combined MPGe. By using renewable power, the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is estimated to reduce the annual greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) of a typical owner by four metric tons.

“Internal Ford data suggests the sun could power up to 75 percent of all trips made by an average driver in a solar hybrid vehicle.”

Now this last claim, or estimate, by Ford is very interesting - are we entering the period when renewable energy will start to make real progress into the EV environment?

The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, which will be shown at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is a collaborative project of Ford, San Jose, Calif.-based SunPower Corp. and Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology.

Source: Ford and


Thursday 2nd January 2014

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