The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

Ford Uses SunPower Solar Cells for Its Electric Concept Car

Ford Uses SunPower Solar Cells for Its Electric Concept Car

Ford Motor Co., the second largest U.S. automaker, is showcasing a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that uses solar panels in the roof to recharge itself.

Credit: Ford

The C-Max Solar Energi will be on display at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that begins Jan. 7, the Dearborn, Michigan-based company said today in a statement.

The vehicle can travel about 21 miles (34 kilometers) using only electric power and has a total range of about 620 miles. It has 300 watts to 350 watts of SunPower Corp. solar cells in the roof and may portend a future of mass-produced rechargeable cars that don’t need to be plugged in, said Mike Tinskey, director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure.

“We are starting to see a convergence that can make these things possible,” Tinskey said in an interview.

The concept includes a canopy-like parking structure that uses Fresnel lenses to focus sunlight on the car and boost efficiency of the solar cells. It was developed with the Georgia Institute of Technology and shifts the car’s position throughout the day as the sun moves across the sky.

“It’s a tracking concentrator without the costs of one,” said Tinskey. The car also has a standard port to connect to a charging station.

Ford estimates it sold more than 85,000 hybrids and electric vehicles in 2013.

Toyota Motor Corp.’s Prius hybrid electric car has an optional solar panel that powers a fan to circulate air within the vehicle when it’s parked in direct sunlight. Nissan Motor Co. offers a Leaf electric vehicle that uses a solar panel that helps keep the car’s battery charged.

Copyright 2013 Bloomberg


Students and solar powered cars with energy storage

Rain or Shine, Students Keep Their Solar Race Cars Going with Energy Storage

Wayne Hicks, NREL Teegan and Kira Cordova love the original Star Trek TV series. That much is obvious. The eighth-grade twins from Ken Caryl Middle School in Littleton are wearing the uniform tunics from the 1960s show — Teegan's in red and...
MIT Clean Energy Prize

MIT Clean Energy Prize Awards $400,000 to Energy Efficiency, Renewable Ventures

Eric Kirchblum, MIT Earlier this month, the MIT Clean Energy Prize (CEP) announced the winners of the 2015 competition at the Eversource MIT Clean Energy Prize Showcase & Grand Prize Awards Ceremony, where it awarded over $400,000, includ...

The Big Question: What Is the Most Frustrating Part about Working in Renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy World Editors

Every industry has its challenges and misunderstandings. Sometimes the obstacles we face in simply trying to do our jobs can be very frustrating.

ViZn Flow Batteries

ViZn Turns to Jabil to Meet Growing Demand for Flow Batteries

Andrew Burger, Correspondent Energy storage startup ViZn, developer of advanced zinc-iron flow battery technology, is scaling up the size and scope of its operations as it works to meet growing demand from a variety of customers both in the U.S. and a...


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:



PV-201: Introduction to PV Design & Installation

PV 201 Introduction to PV Design & Installation is simply the best i...

PV-301: Advanced PV Design & Installation

This highly desirable and advanced course is intended for the profession...

PV-401: Advanced Field Training

Real world on the job solar installation, training, and experience is th...


Solar Tracking – A Key Technology for Unlocking the Full Potential ...

Quotes for very large solar photovoltaic projects in sunny parts of the ...

What is Distributed Energy and Why Does It Matter to Solar?

Distributed energy has become a hot topic of conversation in energy circ...

Meteorological Technology International Magazine - SENSORS AND SENS...

Over the past 10 years, these sensing technologies have spread tre...


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now