Ford announces plans for solar powered electric vehicle
While it may only be a concept vehicle at this moment in time, the Ford C-Max Solar Engeri will be showcased at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas between 7 January and 10 January 2014. This is not the first time that solar power has been interlinked with the electric vehicle market but so far no solar powered vehicle has actually made it to the market. It is hoped that the new Ford solar powered electric vehicle could prove to be one of the turning points for the industry although opinion is divided as to whether it will actually go into full production.
The vehicle itself is fitted with an array of solar panels on the roof and also comes with its own parking canopy which helps to cultivate the sun’s rays, redirecting them towards inbuilt solar panels. The vehicle itself is designed to be recharged in a "large parking area" because due to the unique navigation concept within the vehicle, it will actually slowly move itself around a parking spot to maximize solar power cultivation.
Readily available technology
Interestingly, despite the way in which Ford has brought together the roof solar panels and the parking canopy, this is not new technology. The solar panels are available separately with the parking canopy also available as a stand-alone system, but bringing them together does offer a number of potential opportunities going forward.
Quote from ElectricForum.com : "While Ford may have been a little slow off the mark with regards to electric vehicles, there are many Ford electric vehicles available today which include the award-winning Ford focus electric car not to mention an array of Ford electric vans. Have any Ford electric cars or vans caught your eye? What kind of experience have you had with a Ford electric vehicle?"
It is also believed that 39% of customers who acquire electric vehicles will either already, or at some point in the future, have rooftop solar panels available at home. The idea would be to incorporate these existing solar panel systems with the vehicle itself to maximize cultivation. Even though this is a very interesting development it is worth noting that so far Ford has not actually priced the cost of building such a vehicle and whether indeed it will ever make it to market.
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Ford image via TonyV3112/Shutterstock.com.