Ford experiments with solar-powered hybrid car
— By Tyler Falk on January 2, 2014, 9:53 AM PST
I *certainly* agree with the positive aspects of this concept: That Ford is compelled to start putting on a green face. It does speak to the current market climate in a good way. The question is: How much does green-washing move the cause forward? (vs the back-lash of throwing real money at a project that already has a significantly cheaper and more practical solution that thousands of us have employed for many years? I shudder to think how much real, productive roof-top solar this project could have funded - something Ford could have crowed about for real - maybe, “Our dealerships are now solar-powered!” (But hey, I’m a dreamer who embraces the practical maybe too much.)
The solar panels on the roof of my garage are powering my house while I'm driving, are collecting energy when I'm parked in the shade, and provide all the power to my car when I'm charging. An EV plus panels on the roof of the house where they belong is cheaper and more practical. Once panels get so efficient, small, and cheap that they're a disposable commodity (like paint, for example) then it'll make sense to put them on the car directly. But for now, I'll continue to park my car in the shade, and leave the panels in the sun oriented properly.
This is the future for all the cars, great Ford ! Auto stiri
I want one of these for driving around after the Apocalypse. Charge, drive, loot, charge, drive, loot, ....
"Because of the extended time it takes to absorb enough energy to fully charge the vehicle," the number of weeks it takes to charge would probably surprise many.
I can't imagine why they don't put solar cells on the hood.
Your article neglects to mention that "Fully charged the car could travel for up to 21 miles powered just on electricity.".. from the Solar panels and concentrator array.
A bit of an epic fail, you'd be better having a full-time set of Solar panels at home collecting electricity into battery storage that it can be plugged into when home at night - as without the collector array, the solar on the roof seems bugger all use when you are out and about.
It also missed the self-evident likelihood, that during the day (when the sun shines) you stand a pretty good chance of not being at home - work, school run, shops etc and won't be at home for hours on end to gain the benefits of the solar charging - assuming the sun is shining strongly enough, and the sky is could free.
@neil.postlethwaite What is not stated is how much this feature will add to the cost of the car. The electricity it would take to drive this car a mere 21 miles would be counted in pennies. I don't see any meaningful return on this investment.