Ford will work with researchers to determine solar lens viability for production use

Ford has unveiled a new concept car based on its C-MAX plug-in hybrid vehicle. The concept car is called the Ford C-MAX Solar Energi concept and as its name implies, it has solar panels on the roof. Those solar panels use a special solar concentrator lens that is like a magnifying glass to increase the solar power produced.
The special Fresnel lens is able to boost the impact of the sunlight by a factor of eight. The system is able to track the sun as it moves from east to west allowing the battery pack to draw the same amount of power each day from the sun that it would get from a four-hour battery charge.
The idea behind the concept car is to create a hybrid vehicle that offers the same efficiency as the C-MAX without having to plug the vehicle into an outlet. Ford says that 75% of all trips made with the C-MAX Solar Energi concept wouldn't require the car to be plugged in.
“Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept shines a new light on electric transportation and renewable energy,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. “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.”
Ford is working with Georgia Tech to study the feasibility of using the special lens in a production vehicle, and plans to show off the concept car next week at CES 2014 in Las Vegas.
Ford ran into some trouble with the C-MAX hybrid this year with fuel efficiency in the real world that didn’t stack up to the automakers claims. Ford ended up changing the fuel efficiency ratings for the C-Max from 47 MPG combined to 43 MPG combined. The automaker also gave cash payments of $550 to some buyers.

Source: Ford

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