The urban areas are not yet prepared to accommodate the highly developed electric cars. That’s why a famous car manufacturer decided to try an alternative solution for charging the batteries of electric and hybrid cars with solar panels placed on the roof tops. The technology was developed and implemented by Ford and Georgia Institute of Technology on their C-Max Energi Solar concept.
As you may know, there is a technical constraint regarding solar solution: they need a lot of time to absorb the solar energy needed to fill the batteries that powers the motor of the car. Ford engineers asked for assistance from SunPower and researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology, who came up with an interesting solution. They used a special glass-like surface structure that lies over the panels and works like a magnifying glass, increasing the sunlight intensity (just check the video under to learn more about the system). According to Ford, one day of solar charging with this technology is the equivalent of four hours of normal charging via electrical socket (8 kW). However, the preliminary tests showed that the solar power can provide up to 75% of the total amount needed by a normal driver, which would be very helpful if the car is used in areas where there are no electrical outlets or where the electricity is a valuable expensive. Obviously, the car features a classic power supply plug.
Ford announced that its C-Max Energi Solar Energi hybrid car has an autonomy of 620 miles when used in gas and electric mode, and 21 miles when used in electric-only mode. , the same as the version displayed C-Max Energi “series”, already available USA and equipped with ceiling classic metal panels. In addition, the driving has the ability to run for 30 miles on a full electric.
This concept car will be presented at CES 2014 in Las Vegas, where the tech fans will be able to learn more about the bold project presented by Ford. I’m a big fan of the idea, and I really hope to see such cars on the market at affordable prices.