Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept goes off the grid

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Ford Motor Company has unveiled the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, a first-of-its-kind sun-powered vehicle with the potential to deliver the best of what a plug-in hybrid offers – without depending on an electricity grid for fuel.

Ford Motor Company has unveiled the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, a first-of-its-kind sun-powered vehicle with the potential to deliver the best of what a plug-in hybrid offers – without depending on an electricity grid for fuel.

Instead of powering its battery from an electrical outlet, Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept harnesses the power of the sun by using a special concentrator that acts like a magnifying glass, directing intense rays to solar panels on the vehicle roof.

The result is a concept vehicle that takes a day’s worth of sunlight to deliver the same performance as the conventional C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, which draws its power from the electricity grid. By using renewable power, Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is estimated to reduce the annual greenhouse gas emissions a typical owner would produce by four metric tons.

“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 dialogue about the art of the possible in moving the world toward a cleaner future.”

C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, which was shown at this week’s 2014 International CES (Consumer Electronics Show) in Las Vegas, is a collaborative project of Ford, San Jose, California-based SunPower Corp. and Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology.