Tuesday 02 September 2014

Solar cells on roof charge Ford electric car


The second largest United States carmaker, Ford Motor Company, is showcasing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that uses solar panels in the roof to recharge itself.

The C-Max Solar Energi will be on display at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show that begins in Las Vegas tomorrow.

Ford-solar-roof-C-Max-conceptFord said in a statement that the vehicle can travel about 34 kilometres using only electric power and has a total range of about 1000km.

It has 350 watts of SunPower Corporation solar cells in the roof and may portend a future of mass-produced rechargeable cars that don’t need to be plugged in, said Mike Tinskey, director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure.

“We are starting to see a convergence that can make these things possible,” Mr Tinskey said in an interview.

Ford-solar-car-imageThe concept includes a canopy-like parking structure that uses Fresnel lenses to focus sunlight on the car and boost efficiency of the solar cells.

It was developed with the Georgia Institute of Technology and shifts the car’s position throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky.

“It’s a tracking concentrator without the costs of one,” said Mr Tinskey.

The car also has a standard port to connect to a charging station.

CMAX-Solar-Energi-ELEMENTSFord hasn’t said how much the solar systems will add to the cost of the C-Max Energi, but estimates suggest at least $1000.

Ford estimates it sold more than 85,000 hybrids and electric vehicles in 2013.

Japanese carmaker Toyota’s Prius hybrid electric car has an optional solar panel that powers a fan to circulate air within the vehicle when it’s parked in direct sunlight.

Nissan offers a Leaf electric vehicle that uses a solar panel that helps keep the car’s battery charged.


  1. brokejame says:

    Wow!!!A Car with solar panels. It’s such a great concept to use solar energy effectively. There are also some companies there like The Advanced Group which offer solar energy saving equipments for home. So, now we can use solar energy at home also to generate electricity with the help of solar panels.

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