Ford to launch solar powered car at CES

Ford's newest concept car is solar powered - a big step forward in the industry

Ford’s newest concept car is solar powered – a big step forward in the industry

The idea of using solar power for energy is gaining traction in a wide variety of industries. The auto industry may have been a bit slow to the party but it seems that at least one brand has its eye on the future.

Ford Motor Company plans to unveil its solar-powered C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle with solar panels on the roof that allows the car to recharge itself. 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 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.  And it’s expected to limit greenhouse gas emissions by four metric tons.

Ford c-max solar energi concept concentrator diagramThe 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. EPA .

“This could be especially important in places where the electric grid is underdeveloped, unreliable and expensive,” Ford wrote in a statement.

For more on this fascinating car and its possibilities, see http://yhoo.it/1ixkgnr.

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