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The Ford C-MAX Solar Energi concept car will officially be unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show on January 7 in Las Vegas, and is the first vehicle to incorporate solar panels on its roof.

C-MAX-Solar-Energi-570x323

Image courtesy of Cleantechnica

What the Concept Does Right

While a plug outlet will remain available for conventional plug-in charging, arguably the biggest selling point is it won’t require an electrical draw from the grid, making it the first of its kind. In other words, when using the solar power charge, the electric vehicle (EV) is powered entirely through renewable energy. As Mike Tinskey, Ford’s global director of vehicle electrification and vehicle infrastructure, states, “We’ve been calling it the first plug-in hybrid that doesn’t need to plug in.”

As a result, Ford believes the C-MAX Solar Energi could cut greenhouse gas emissions from car owners by as much as four metric tons each year – the equivalent of what a U.S. household produces in four months.

In coordination with SunPower, who will supply 16 square-feet of its high-efficiency X21 solar cells atop each vehicle, Ford claims the panels will generate 300-350 watts of electricity. Following a full charge, the concept car will run for 21 miles of solar-energized glory, which is enough to “power up to 75 percent of all trips made by an average driver,” according to internal Ford data via Cleantechnica. The engine would switch over to conventional gasoline after the charge runs out.

What Still Needs Work

Unfortunately, there is a fair share of road blocks along the way in terms of...

To read the entire article, click this link.

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