LAS VEGAS – The electric car, is it here to stay? No one really knows. Despite the electric car has been available to consumers for more than two decades, few are seen on the open road.
Yet Ford Car Manufacturer is convinced that the electric car is here to stay and has developed a solar panel rooftop designed specifically to recharge the vehicles batteries while on the go or stationed in the garage.
The company will be introducing its ‘C-Max Solar Energi Concept’ at the CES show in Las Vegas. The CES (Consumer Electronics Show) is an annual event held in Las Vegas that showcases latest electronic advances and inventions.
Ford has been selling its all new 2.0 liter ‘C-Max Energi’ plug-in hybrid in the US for some time already. The rooftop of the vehicle is equipped with a solar panel that uses special fresnel lenses to combat the constant changing of the sun’s position.
The concept of Fresnel lenses is commonly used in watch towers in order to send out as much light as possible but the lens can also be used to draw in light or, as in Ford’s case, heat.
Don’t think however that solar paneled car rooftops is something new. Nissan has been using solar panels on the rooftops of its Leaf vehicle to extend power to the vehicle’s air conditioning. Other luxury car brands use solar panel rooftops to control the temperature inside the vehicle.
Ford is the first company however to use solar panel energy to recharge the vehicle’s battery pack. Loading the battery pack using solar power is still slow going however; one full day in the sun equals four hours or plugged-in recharging.
Ford admits that its C-Max Solar Energi is still a concept but says it will begin conducting tests after the CES show to make the concept viable for consumers.
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