The vehicle also reinforces MyEnergi Lifestyle, a concept revealed by Ford and several partners at 2013 CES. MyEnergi Lifestyle uses math, science and computer modeling to help homeowners understand how they can take advantage of energy-efficient home appliances, solar power systems and plug-in hybrid vehicles to significantly reduce monthly expenses while also reducing their overall carbon footprint.
In the case of the C-MAX Solar Energi, the car is able to draw 8 kilowatt-hours of electricity when under the canopy — enough energy to fully charge the car’s battery pack.
C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, which will be shown at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, is a collaborative project f Ford, San Jose, Calif.-based SunPower Corp. and Atlanta-based Georgia Institute of Technology.
Two of the country’s biggest solar equipment producers — LDK Solar and JA Solar Holdings Co Ltd — are teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. And China’s Suntech, once the world’s largest manufacturer of solar panels, is now in the process of liquidating.
By tapping renewable solar energy with a rooftop solar panel system, C-MAX Solar Energi Concept is not dependent on the traditional electric grid for its battery power. Internal Ford data suggest the sun could power up to 75 percent of all trips made by an average driver in a solar hybrid vehicle. This could be especially important in places where the electric grid is underdeveloped, unreliable or expensive to use.
The positive environmental impact from Ford C-MAX Solar Energi could be significant. It would reduce yearly carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions from the average U.S. car owner by as much as four metric tons — the equivalent of what a U.S. house produces in four months.