Solar Powered Concept Cars

Electric cars offer freedom from the gas pump, but they tie drivers to the task of charging up. To truly cut the power cord, it would help if you could carry your generator on board, and the fuel would be free.

Ford used the biggest consumer electronics show of the year to showcase not-yet-ready-for-mass-production technology and the possibilities for renewable energy transportation.

The solar plug-in hybrid crossover, based on Ford’s C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, has 16 square feet (1.5 square meters) of photovoltaic panels built into the roof.

Even with a full day of blazing sunlight, the eight-kilowatt-capacity panels wouldn’t capture enough energy to fully charge the car’s lithium-ion battery. So Ford, along with the Georgia Institute of Technology, developed a flat acrylic lens to stand over the car in a canopy that can marshal sunlight from a larger area. The lens would act like a magnifying glass and concentrate sunlight onto the car, boosting solar uptake eightfold. It would take about seven hours of sunlight to fully charge the battery, which could then power the car for an estimated 21 miles (33.8 kilometers) before a gas engine kicks in.

Read the full story here.


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About jensera

Jennifer Harrington is a Toronto-based illustrator, writer and graphic designer. She illustrated the best-selling children’s book series 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' which includes the titles 'A Moose in a Maple Tree,' 'The Night Before a Canadian Christmas' and 'Canadian Jingle Bells.' She is also the owner of JSH Graphics, a boutique graphic design agency that specializes in print and web advertising. With her latest project, Eco Books 4 Kids, Jennifer has partnered with illustrator Michael Arnott to create a series of ecologically-themed ebooks for children. Her next book, 'Spirit Bear,' is due for release in the Summer of 2013. Jennifer offers two different school presentations for her 'Moose in a Maple Tree' collection, an illustration demonstration and a Christmas concert series, which can be booked at She will be taking bookings for school readings of 'Spirit Bear' beginning in October 2013.

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