The Ford C-Max Solar Energi, which will be shown off at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, is something the world looks forward to. Unlike the solar cars that have come out earlier, these aren’t racers, but are normal cars. This one will come with a rooftop panel, with cells rated at 300 to 350 watts. But what the car has to offer is still huge!
As of now, we know that Ford teamed with Georgia Institute of Technology to build a solar concentrator with a Fresnel lens, like the ones used in lighthouses.
These lens acts like magnifying glasses trying to concentrate power, and the system will also track the sun as it moves east to west. It can produce close to four-hour, or eight-kilowatt battery charge. Up to 75 percent of all these trips on an average hybrid driver will be by solar power.
The annual reduction in greenhouse gas by using this car will equal four metric tons, which is a house’s output for four months.
Though Ford’s idea seem to be to make into effect a very useful solar charging system, the Fresnel lenses and sun trackers may not be that cheap despite Ford describing it as a “low-cost” option. Plus, the Solar Energi is still at not ready for production.
Mike Tinskey, the Ford global director of vehicle electrification, says he is “optimistic” about the cost and that it is indeed something very challenging for his team. But he says it is ultimately for the green cause and energy saving.
On the other hand, if you are craving hard for a solar charger, buy now the Envision Solar, which markets the Autonomous Renewable Chargers, a portable solar electric car charger with a 2.3-kilowatt solar array, battery storage, and its own built-in parking space.
It generates 16 watt-hours daily and stores 22. And, you do not need permits on this one. But the price is as high as $40,000 price tag. Desmond Wheatley, the CEO at Envision told MNN.com that he could reduce the price if the orders are big.