Ford C-Max Solar Energi takes a recharging station wherever it goes [UPDATE]

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Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept CES 2014

Companies ranging in size from small startups to major automakers have been experimenting with solar-powered charging stations for EVs and plug-in hybrids. And, of course, people have been powering vehicles with onboard solar panels for quite some time, too. Still, Ford's new C-Max Solar Energi Concept shows the promise of a truly practical implementation of solar on a production vehicle, and it may not be as far off in the future as we had thought.

As we reported a few days ago, the Solar concept makes use of a "concentrator lens" that focuses sunlight onto the Ford's roof-mounted solar panels mounted atop the charging canopy. The special lens follows the rays of the sun to maximize the amount of charge being fed to the batteries of the car, taking about a day to fully charge the 21-mile, all-electric range of the C-Max Energi. Ford data suggests that combination might be enough to power 75 percent of all trips made by a statistically average driver. In turn, using the sun to power a vehicle could reduce yearly C02 emissions by up to four metric tons when compared with the driver of an average gasoline-powered sedan.

We've got live images of the C-Max Solar Energi Concept, jauntily tilted on its display to best present its signature solar panels, straight from the CES floor.

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story implied that the concentrator used to collect more solar energy is built into the car. It is in fact built into the solar-panel-covered canopy.

Continue reading Ford C-Max Solar Energi takes a recharging station wherever it goes [UPDATE]

Ford C-Max Solar Energi takes a recharging station wherever it goes [UPDATE] originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 08 Jan 2014 08:28:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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