Ford introduces solar-powered hybrid car that uses CPV tech

US automaker Ford Motor Company has introduced the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, a hybrid car that relies on the sun to recharge its battery rather than the electricity grid. The Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is based on the company’s plug-in hybrid but relies on CPV technology developed in partnership with SunPower Corp. and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The CPV technology relies on a Fresnel lens that concentrates sunlight by a factor of eight onto SunPower cells mounted on the roof of the vehicle. The CPV system includes tracking technology and can draw enough power each day to equal a 4-hour battery charge (8 kW). The car includes a plug-in option so that customers can still charge the vehicle via the power grid if they wish to do so.
With a full charge, the Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is estimated to have a total range of up to 620 miles, including up to 21 electric-only miles. Ford will show the new hybrid vehicle and the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas. After CES, the company will begin testing the vehicle in real-world scenarios. The results of these tests will determine if the solar-power concept is feasible as a production car.

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