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Ford unveils plans for solar-powered car

Ford unveils plans for solar-powered car

Ford has taken energy-efficient vehicles to a whole new level with the release of plans for a new solar-powered hybrid prototype.

Known as the Solar Energi Concept, the designs see solar panels attached to the roof of a Ford C-Max, with the photovoltaics able to track the position of the sun for maximum take-up of energy.

According to Ford, the car is capable of producing power equivalent to a four-hour battery charge and can travel 21 miles on electric power alone.

The Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas will host a prototype version of the vehicle this month, before it undergoes more testing to see if a full production model could potentially be viable in the future.

A separate off-vehicle solar concentrator lens, which has been compared to a magnifying glass, will be used on the roof of the vehicle to make sure the appropriate amount of energy is absorbed.

This technology is known as a Fresnal lens, and will be able to follow the movement of the sun as it travels from east to west.

The solar power system is innovative, but drivers will still have to access power from the grid in order to use it to its full capabilities.

However, in the future, Ford predicts that 75 per cent of all trips can be done by the sun's power alone.

Posted by Louise ClarkADNFCR-3205-ID-801678482-ADNFCR