Blue-Sky Thinking Required for Car That Runs on Sun Power

April 2, 2014

After a winter during which the sun has been notable by its absence, U.K. drivers might be forgiven for wondering exactly how often they would get to use something that runs on solar power.

Fortunately, the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept car also is a plug-in hybrid – which means that you can still get where you want even if it’s cloudy.

Just one of the futuristic vehicles and technologies Ford was displaying at this year’s Geneva Motor Show, the Concept uses a special lens, similar to a magnifying glass, to direct the sun’s rays to roof-mounted solar panels.

The Concept’s total range is estimated at 620 miles, with a full charge, 18 of which could be electric-only. It also is estimated that U.K. customers using the vehicle could save more than £830 per year in fuel.

Further vehicles displayed by Ford included the new Focus that enables drivers to simply say “I’m Hungry” for the MICHELIN guide-equipped car to respond with a list of nearby restaurants, help the driver book a table, and plot a course using the navigation system.

The biggest crowd-pleaser at Geneva was the new Ford Mustang sports car, which will go on sale across Europe for the first time next year.