Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept to Debut at 2014 Consumer Electronics Show

In its ever-present effort to challenge Toyota as the world leader in fuel-efficiency and hybrid electric car technology, Ford has announced the C-Max Solar Energi concept. The concept is a solar-powered variant of the Ford C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid, which Ford claims is capable of the same efficiency as the standard car, but without relying on the electric grid infrastructure.

Using a special compact Fresnel lens that concentrates and directs sunlight to roof-mounted solar panels, the Ford C-Max Solar Energi hybrid can fully recharge in a day from the sun's energy, giving it a battery charge equal to a four-hour plug-in charge. The vehicle, which retains the plug-in charge port as an alternative, achieves the same combined 100 mpg combined rating and 620-mile range (of which 21 miles are on only electric power) as its standard Ford C-Max Energi progenitor. Ford also claims that the average car owners could see major environmental gains by switching to the solar-powered hybrid—up to four metric tons less annual CO2 and greenhouse gas emissions would be produced compared to charging from the electric grid.

The Ford C-Max Energi uses a 2.0-liter 141-hp engine paired with a 54-hp electric motor and mated to a continuously variable transmission. Using only electric power, the Ford C-Max Energi can do up to 85 mph before switching to hybrid mode.

Ford will reportedly begin vehicle testing after the Ford C-Max Solar Energi debuts at the 2014 CES show in Las Vegas, at which point we will have a better idea whether or not this concept will ever make it to production.

Tony Ham
Let us remember that Montana in many places has over 300 days of sunshine.  Bring this car Ford...I am looking for just such a creature.
BigBlock45
This sounds like a great car for sunny climes (SoCal, AZ, NV, TX, FL).  If the solar panels actually charge as projected -- what a commuter car!  Drive to work. Park in the sun for eight hours. Drive home -- with the battery fully charged!  After looking at the C-Max... it IS more attractive and roomy as a Prius.. not to mention the other hybrid/battery cars (the MAJOR exception being the Tesla S).  If they can price it right, it should be their top hybrid seller.

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