Ford to Debut C-Max Solar Energi Concept at CES This Week
These days, car shoppers have their fair share of choices as far as energy options for their vehicles: standard gasoline, clean diesel, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and electric are all viable options while the hydrogen fuel cell vehicle seems to be just around the corner. Ford is looking to add another option into the fray with its C-Max Solar Energi, scheduled to debut this week at the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.
What makes the C-Max Solar Energi unique from its plug-in hybrid brethren is the use of an innovative solar roof array, which gathers UV rays from the sun and projects concentrated sunlight into solar panels on the roof in order to completely charge the Energi’s battery in as little as four hours. An off-vehicle solar concentrator (manufactured by SunPower) utilizes a Frensel lens to boost the effectiveness of sunlight by eight and is capable of tacking the sun’s movement in order to maximize its drawing potential.
The time normally required to fully refill a C-Max Energi 7.6 kWh battery is estimated to be 7 hours at 120 volts or 3 hours at 240 volts. Ford estimates that renewable energy recharging will allow the C-Max Solar Energi to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by four metric tons when used in a manner in keeping with the standard C-Max Energi.
“Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept shines a new light on electric transportation and renewable energy,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, in Ford’s official statement. “As an innovation leader, we want to further the public dialog about the art of the possible in moving the world toward a cleaner future.”
After Ford shows the C-Max Solar Energi at CES this week, it will return to Georgia Tech for further testing in various real-world scenarios. The subsequent results of these trials will determine whether Ford moves to create a production version of the Solar Energi.
We want to know what you think: are you interested in the possibilities of solar-powered vehicles? What benefits can you see or what concerns do you have? Leave us a comment and let us know!
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