Share

Ford to Unveil Solar Hybrid Concept Car at CES

January 2, 2014

 

AP Photo/Ford

This image shows Ford's C-MAX Solar Energi Concept car.

LAS VEGAS -- Ford plans to unveil at this month's International CES gadget show a solar-powered concept car that offers the same performance as a plug-in hybrid but without the need for a plug.

The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept car uses a gasoline engine combined with a gizmo that acts like a magnifying glass to concentrate the sun's rays on the vehicle's roof-mounted solar panels. The automaker says the vehicle's estimated combined city-highway mileage is 100 mpg.

Ford says that by using solar power instead of an electric plug, a typical owner will reduce their annual greenhouse gas emissions by four metric tons.

(MORE: Creating a Winter Wonderland With Snow Plows)

The company says it sold about 85,000 hybrid or electric vehicles in 2013, including 6,300 units of its C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid.

The sun-ray concentrator was developed by researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and uses what is known as a Fresnel lens, which concentrates light but can be made thinner than a conventional lens. A full day of sunshine is equivalent to a four-hour battery charge, or 8 kilowatts, Ford says.

On a full charge, it should have a range of 620 miles, including 21 electric-only miles, the same as the C-MAX Energi. The concept car also comes with a plug-in port for standard electric charging.

Ford says that 75 percent of all trips made by an average driver could be powered by the sun.

After showing off the concept car at the convention in Las Vegas Jan. 7-10, Ford Motor Co. says that it will test the vehicle with institute researchers to determine if it's feasible for mass production.

MORE: The World's Largest Solar-Powered Boat

Gerard dAboville, captain of the world's largest solar boat, Switzerlands MS Turanor PlanetSolar, stands on the boat's solar panels on June 18, 2013 at North Cove Marina in New York. Solar panels cover more than 5,554 square feet of the ship's surface. (Don Emmert/AFP/Getty Images)


Featured Blogs

Hurricane Science Legend Dr. Robert Simpson Dies at Age 102

By Dr. Jeff Masters
December 19, 2014

Dr. Robert Simpson, one of the originators of the familiar Saffir-Simpson scale, passed away peacefully in his sleep today at the age of 102. He was the director of the National Hurricane Center (NHC) from 1967 - 1974.

November 2014 Global Weather Extremes Summary

By Christopher C. Burt
December 18, 2014

November was globally the 7th warmest such on record according to NOAA and 8th according to NASA (see Jeff Master’s blog for more about this). It was a cold month in the U.S. with some phenomenal lake-effect snowstorms. A powerful storm, dubbed a ‘Medicane’ formed in the Mediterranean Sea. Deadly floods occurred in Morocco, Italy, and Switzerland. It was the warmest November on record for Australia, Italy, Austria and much of Southeast Asia.Below are some of the month’s highlights.

Live Blog: Tracking Hurricane Arthur as it Approaches North Carolina Coast

By Shaun Tanner
July 3, 2014

This is a live blog set up to provide the latest coverage on Hurricane Arthur as it threatens the North Carolina Coast. Check back often to see what the latest is with Arthur. The most recent updates are at the top.

Tropical Terminology

By Stu Ostro
June 30, 2014

Here is some basic, fundamental terminology related to tropical cyclones. Rather than a comprehensive and/or technical glossary, this represents the essence of the meaning & importance of some key, frequently used terms.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.