In a collaborative project between Ford (San Jose), SunPower Corp (California) and the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta), the Ford motor company has developed the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept.
This is a first-of-its-kind sun-powered vehicle, independent from the electric grid for fuel. It harnesses power from the sun by tracking its movement in the sky and magnifying the solar rays onto its solar-paneled roof. A day’s worth of sunlight can deliver the same performance as the more conventional C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, (which draws its power from the electric grid).
SunPower (Ford’s solar technology partner) is providing the high-efficiency solar-cells for the C-MAX Solar Energi roof and the Georgia Institute of Technology has provided a way to amplify sunlight using Fresnel lenses (originally developed for lighthouses) to make a solar-powered hybrid viable.
If all goes according to plan, yearly CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions from the average U.S. car owner could be reduced by as much as four metric tons – the equivalent of what a U.S. house produces in four months.
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