Ford has unveiled a new concept car based on the C-Max plug-in hybrid vehicle. The concept car is called the Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept. Ford says that the car was built to deliver the best aspects of a plug-in hybrid with the ability to go off the electric grid and still operate optimally.
The concept car has a large solar panel array on the roof that is designed to get power from a solar concentrator lens. That solar concentrator lens is similar to a magnifying glass according to Ford. The concentrator lens is able to deliver intense solar rays to the solar panels on the roof of the car.
Ford claims that the result of the solar concentrator and roof solar panels is that the concept car is able to deliver the same performance as the normal plug-in C-Max without having to be plugged into an electric outlet. The normal C-Max provides 108 MPGe in the city and 92 MPGe on the highway.
Ford will have the C-Max Solar Energi concept on display at the CES 2014 show kicking off next week. Ford says that the tech the concept uses would allow 75% of all trips made by the average driver to be powered by solar energy. Ford has been in trouble with owners of the C-Max and offered small refunds for fuel efficiency that was less than promised in the real world.