Quantcast

Ford to Introduce First Solar-Powered Car

Business

Though the company deems it as merely a "concept," Ford Motor Co. will soon unveil a sun-powered vehicle.

The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with solar panels on the roof that allow the car to recharge itself. The vehicle's total range is 620 miles, and it can travel 21 miles using only electric power from the sun.

"By tapping renewable solar energy with a rooftop solar panel system, C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is not dependent on the traditional electric grid for its battery power," Ford wrote in a statement. "Internal Ford data suggest the sun could power up to 75 percent of all trips made by an average driver in a solar hybrid vehicle."

Photo credit: Ford Motor Co.

The C-MAX uses a special concentrator that acts like a magnifying glass to direct rays to 300-to-350-watt solar cells on the roof from SunPower Corp. The compact lens was originally used for use in lighthouses. The system tracks the sun as it moves from east to west.

Ford says the concept vehicle uses a day’s worth of sunlight to deliver the same performance as its conventional C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. That amount generate the same power—8 kilowatts—that you would get from a four-hour battery charge.

The concept car would receive 108 miles per gallon (MPG) in the city and 92 MPG on the highway, according to Ford and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company will introduce the concept at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), which begins Jan. 7 in Las Vegas, NV.

Photo credit: Ford Motor Co.

"This could be especially important in places where the electric grid is underdeveloped, unreliable and expensive,” Ford wrote in a statement. “After C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is shown at CES, Ford and Georgia Tech will begin testing the vehicle in numerous real-world scenarios. The outcome of those tests will be used at a later date to help determine if the concept is feasible as a production car.”

The car also contains a port for charging with in the electric grid.

The Nissan LEAF's rear spoiler has a solar panel, but Ford says its C-MAX is the first of its kind.

“We are starting to see a convergence that can make these things possible,” Mike Tinskey, director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure, told Bloomberg. “It’s a tracking concentrator without the costs of one."

Visit EcoWatch’s TRANSPORTATION page for more related news on this topic.

 

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Natural Resources Defense Council

By Emily Deanne

Shower shoes? Check. Extra-long sheets? Yep. Energy efficiency checklist? No worries — we've got you covered there. If you're one of the nation's 12.1 million full-time undergraduate college students, you no doubt have a lot to keep in mind as you head off to school. If you're reading this, climate change is probably one of them, and with one-third of students choosing to live on campus, dorm life can have a big impact on the health of our planet. In fact, the annual energy use of one typical dormitory room can generate as much greenhouse gas pollution as the tailpipe emissions of a car driven more than 156,000 miles.

Read More Show Less
Kokia drynarioides, commonly known as Hawaiian tree cotton, is a critically endangered species of flowering plant that is endemic to the Big Island of Hawaii. David Eickhoff / Wikipedia

By Lorraine Chow

Kokia drynarioides is a small but significant flowering tree endemic to Hawaii's dry forests. Native Hawaiians used its large, scarlet flowers to make lei. Its sap was used as dye for ropes and nets. Its bark was used medicinally to treat thrush.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
Frederick Bass / Getty Images

States that invest heavily in renewable energy will generate billions of dollars in health benefits in the next decade instead of spending billions to take care of people getting sick from air pollution caused by burning fossil fuels, according to a new study from MIT and reported on by The Verge.

Read More Show Less
Aerial view of lava flows from the eruption of volcano Kilauea on Hawaii, May 2018. Frizi / iStock / Getty Images

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano could be gearing up for an eruption after a pond of water was discovered inside its summit crater for the first time in recorded history, according to the AP.

Read More Show Less
A couple works in their organic garden. kupicoo / E+ / Getty Images

By Kristin Ohlson

From where I stand inside the South Dakota cornfield I was visiting with entomologist and former USDA scientist Jonathan Lundgren, all the human-inflicted traumas to Earth seem far away. It isn't just that the corn is as high as an elephant's eye — are people singing that song again? — but that the field burgeons and buzzes and chirps with all sorts of other life, too.

Read More Show Less
Sponsored
A competitor in action during the Drambuie World Ice Golf Championships in Uummannaq, Greenland on April 9, 2001. Michael Steele / Allsport / Getty Images

Greenland is open for business, but it's not for sale, Greenland's foreign minister Ane Lone Bagger told Reuters after hearing that President Donald Trump asked his advisers about the feasibility of buying the world's largest island.

Read More Show Less
AFP / Getty Images / S. Platt

Humanity faced its hottest month in at least 140 years in July, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) said on Thursday. The finding confirms similar analysis provided by its EU counterparts.

Read More Show Less
Newly established oil palm plantation in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia. Rhett A. Butler / Mongabay

By Hans Nicholas Jong

Indonesia's president has made permanent a temporary moratorium on forest-clearing permits for plantations and logging.

It's a policy the government says has proven effective in curtailing deforestation, but whose apparent gains have been criticized by environmental activists as mere "propaganda."

Read More Show Less