(DETROIT) — Electric cars are now mainstream, but what about solar cars? Ford Motor Company is debuting its first solar-powered plug-in hybrid at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas next week.
The solar panels on the roof of the C-Max Solar Energi Concept are not enough to charge the battery on their own, so the car maker has developed a special concentrator canopy to capture and direct sun rays to the car.
“It’s basically a giant magnifying glass and that is made out of acrylic and aluminum and it’s static,” said Mike Tinskey, director of Vehicle Electrification at Ford Motor Company.
Tinskey says owners must recharge the vehicles during the day when the sun’s out.
“This is really intended for, say, a workplace installation, so when you’re parked at work for the day or even if you work out of the home, you could do it at your home,” he says.
Ford will start testing the car later this year. There are no estimates on whether the car will go into commercial production or how much it would cost.
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Cristina Alesci Seth Fiegerman and Charles Riley, CNN
Jose Pagliery, CNN
David Goldman, CNN