Potential owners of plug-in hybrids seeking for a way to recharge their green machine without the need for an outlet may soon rely upon the sun for power, all thanks to Ford’s debut of their C-Max Solar Energi Concept at the 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas on Monday.
The C-Max Solar Energi Concept can be plugged into a power source when convenient, but for times when outlets aren’t readily available, an off-vehicle concentrator utilizing a Fresnel lens (usually found in lighthouses) aids in drawing in and magnifying the power of the sun upon the concept’s roof-mounted solar panels. According to Ford, the power collected could be enough to cover 75 percent of any trips the owner may take, each day providing the equivalent of four hours’ worth of charging.
As far as performance is concerned, the Solar Energi is on par with the C-Max Energi currently in showrooms, which pulls in the equivalent of 108 MPGe in the city/92 MPGe on the highway. Fully charged, the concept is expected to share its sister’s range of 620 miles, 21 miles electric-only.
The project is a collaboration between the Blue Oval, San Jose, Calif.-based SunPower, and the Georgia Institute of Technology, all three of whom will begin real-world testing to determine production feasibility after the annual electronics show.