Taking a leaf out of Nissan LEAF and Fisker Karma’s book, Ford is bringing to the 2014 CES a concept version of the C-MAX fitted with a solar panel roof. In the aforementioned car the solar panels provide a little bit of energy for the features like the air con. In the Ford though, the solar energy is used to power the car.
So the Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is the first sun-powered car in the world. You know, the first proper car. There have been sun-powered cars before this, but most of them looked like Alien spaceships.
Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept harnesses the power of the sun by using a special concentrator that acts like a magnifying glass, directing intense rays to solar panels on the vehicle roof. This way the car eliminates the need for an electric grid. There are of course a couple of drawbacks with this concept. For example this car won’t work in cities like London, where the sun only shows its face once or twice a year. But is seems perfect for cities like Los Angeles or Las Vegas, where they have plenty of sun.
The standard Ford C-MAX Energi is a hugely economical car, boasting an EPA-estimated 108 MPGe city and 92 MPGe highway, for a combined 100 MPGe. The Solar Energi concept is even better than that, because it uses renewable power, saving four metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions every year. We should not forget where the electricity in the outlet you use to charge EVs come from.
Peroformance-wise, the Energi Solar Concept is expected to be identical to the normal Energi. With a full charge, Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is estimated to have the same total range of up to 620 miles, including up to 21 electric-only miles.