Ford's latest concept wants to go off the grid, the electrical grid that is.
Meet the C-Max Solar Energi Concept, which will debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week. The concept has solar panels on the roof to help charge the battery. But what makes this concept unique is an off-vehicle solar concentrator that uses a special lens to magnify power drawn from sunlight to charge the batteries. The concentator can also track the sun as it goes from East to West to draw the most power out. When fully charged, the C-Max Solar Energi Concept delivers the same performance as the conventional C-Max Energy plug-in hybrid including a driving range of up to 620 miles and fully-electric range of 21 miles.
The C-Max Solar Energi Concept is the result of a collaborative project between Ford, SunPower Corp., and the Georgia Institute of Technology. SunPower developed the high-efficiency solar panels, while the Georgia Institute of Technology developed an off-vehicle solar concentrator.
“Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept shines a new light on electric transportation and renewable energy. As an innovation leader, we want to further the public dialog about the art of the possible in moving the world toward a cleaner future,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure.
Ford will begin real-world testing of the panels to determine production feasibility soon.