Sun-Powered Vehicle

By Tori T.

It may look like the regular Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, but what lurks above sets it apart not only from the C-MAX family, but most every vehicle: It has a solar panel roof. The solar cells and related technology allow for a four-hour battery charge.

This C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is more than some kind of show gimmick, and it will be on display at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, January 7-10, 2014. Ford perceives it as an important milestone in its electrification research, especially when it comes to places where the electric grid is underdeveloped, unreliable or expensive to use. Following the concept's appearance at CES, it will undergo testing, including in real-world situations, to help determine whether putting it into production is a viable option.

The C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is a first-of-its-kind vehicle for Ford, and was built by Ford and SunPower. Because of the extended time it takes to absorb enough energy to fully charge the vehicle, Ford turned to Georgia Institute of Technology for a way to amplify the sunlight in order to make a solar-powered hybrid feasible for daily use.

Researchers developed an off-vehicle solar concentrator that uses a special Fresnel lens to direct sunlight to the solar cells while boosting the impact of the sunlight by a factor of eight. Fresnel is a compact lens originally developed for use in lighthouses. Similar in concept to a magnifying glass, the patent-pending system tracks the sun as it moves from east to west, drawing power through the concentrator each day.

The Solar Energi Concept still has a charge port, so charging it via connecting to a charging station through cord and plug is still doable.

While this is just a concept for now, you can learn more about the 2014 Ford C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid at .
looks like ford is way ahead of the rest of them with the sun power car you can go farter and not worry about lost of charging places to go toand you can go across the country with out a worry to your far ahead of the rest of the auto. makers to
thanks you ford
John P 02/12/2014
If this works out Ford would own the car market. Many great ideas are touted but the market place never sees them. I hope we see this car soon, I'm a buyer.
Denise P 02/01/2014
I'm happy that Ford is innovative with solar technology.
Ford Social 01/30/2014
Hi Kevin!

Ford has teamed up with PlugShare®, an industry-leading aggregator of public charge stations, to provide real-time charge station information to drivers of plug-in hybrid vehicles like Ford’s C-MAX Energi and Fusion Energi. In fact, Ford is the only manufacturer to offer real-time charging station location information through its smartphone app, MyFord® Mobile.

- Ford Social Moderation Team
Kevin Kampherstein 01/21/2014
This is a great concept but would make more sense to incorporate the lens canopy into the vehicle so you could actively charge while driving or parked (at work, home, etc.).  I have been thinking a lot about getting a full electric car recently but can't seem to find a resource that will let me know where the local charge ports are located.  Any advice? 
James E 01/12/2014
Is Ford going to bring back the Escape Hybrid? I would love to see a Escape Energi in my garage. It would be the only Plug in suv on the market!!
Patricia white 01/07/2014
My family and myself are so excited by this solar development by Ford. We are all into saving the environment. And since we buy cars that are best for the environment, all 26 will be buying this car. Please hurry it into development. Thanks.
JDaniels 01/07/2014
Pat L 01/07/2014
I want this car! And, living in So Cal and working in an industry that requires all kinds of driving over short and long distance, in traffic and when roads are clear, in daytime and at nite, I think I'd be the perfect test-driver for this new version of my favorite car.

Hooray, Ford, for thinking about the planet and its people first.
Robert Whyne 01/07/2014
I would definitely consider this concept car as my next vehicle choice.  I often think about all that solar energy my car could capture as it sits in the parking lot all day while I'm at work.  My opinion - Go for it Ford!!!
Chris 01/06/2014
So your still going to need some kind of included adaptor pointed at your car to get the solar charge you want? I was hoping the conecntrator was built into the car somehow so I could do it anywhere. Too early to tell but I wait to see if this comes out and how much extra it will add to the car when I'm ready for an upgrade.
Brad B 01/04/2014
Hey Ford ! As a C-Max owner (his name is Herbie) this was a nice story. Herbie is my first Hybrid and won't be my last. This idea believe it or not has crossed my mind before. The thoughts I had though didn't have the impact of the presense of size. My thoughts were built around a roof rack like the factory type on the Escape as to hide it and make it appear to be just as two-tone paint job over what the photo shown in the article. Being a luggage rack it might be sold as a dealer installed option to people like me who already own a earlier C-Max. Another thought was a small plug-in charger that the dealer could set up a standard C-Max owner with (think 110vt powered trickle charger) that again has an older Non-Energie Model. Keep up the good work. By the way Herbie routinely deliver me around 47 to 52 mpg in town and around 52 to 57 mpg running 55 mph. My gas bill has been cut down by nearly 60% ! I averge 1,000 miles a month and love the dirty looks from the 12 mpg suv owners who use more in one week than I do in a month, and yes ... I let'em know it.
Kristian H 01/03/2014
If this goes into production I hope the "panels" are better integrated into the design.  The separation of the panels make it look more like an after thought, or a DIY kit.  Instead it would be great to see a continuous cover (maybe in different colours, or transparencies?).  
monte.j 01/03/2014
I've just purchased a 240V charger for my 2013 C-Max energi that I purchased in March of last year. I'm amazed at how fast charger prices have gone down and how range is increasing with recharge time decreasing over a timespan of less than a year. The Solar Panel Roof idea seemed to me to be at least 10 years away. Think of the millions of cars around the world that spend their days outside. Wow, we're talking about a potential 100% discount on fuel costs. Great Stuff ! What a grand time to be in the vehicle design business, almost makes me wish I wasn't retired.... Almost.
A Ford First: Sun-Powered Vehicle
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