Don’t look now, but the solar-powered
car is making a comeback. Ford
announced the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, a sporty-looking hatchback whose roof is lined with solar panels. The idea is that the car will offer “the best of a plug-in hybrid
without depending on the electric grid for fuel”--which is a brilliant idea if it pans out.
The roof panels of the C-MAX Solar Energi have a concentrator, like a magnifying glass, that more efficiently collects the sun’s rays to charge the battery. The company claims that a day’s worth of sunshine can deliver the same performance as its plug-in hybrid, the C-MAX Energi, and the vehicle can deliver 108 MPGe city and 92 MPGe highway for an average of 100 MPGe.
Ford says that by relying on solar power and staying off the electrical grid, drivers of the C-MAX Solar Energi would save some four metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Ford developed the car in tandem with SunPower (which provided the solar technology) and the Georgia Institute of Technology and will be showing it off at CES next week.
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