Ford hybrid car charges in direct sunlight

American carmaker Ford has developed a hybrid car which charges from solar panels in its roof. The C-MAX Solar Energi which has been created with solar tech firm SunPower is […]

By Vicky Ellis

American carmaker Ford has developed a hybrid car which charges from solar panels in its roof.

The C-MAX Solar Energi which has been created with solar tech firm SunPower is charged by a separate, magnifying glass-style lens called a solar “concentrator”.

This system which has a patent pending boosts the sunlight hitting the solar panel by a factor of eight.

The concetrator tracks the sun as it moves from east to west, drawing as much power from the sun each day as a four-hour battery charge of 8 kilowatts.

Mike Tinskey, Ford Global Director of Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure said the model “shines a new light on electric transportation and renewable energy”.

With a full charge, the car could have the same total range as Ford’s conventional hybrid car, C-MAX Energi, of up to 620 miles, including up to 21 electric-only miles. It can still charge via the grid if necessary.

The manufacturer said it believes 2013 will have been a record year for sales of its green cars. It expects to have sold 85,000 hybrids, plug-in hybrids and all-electric vehicles.