Travel green with the latest environmentally friendly cars unveiled at the recent Consumer Electronics Show. Solar powered cars used to be the domain of engineering students’ projects; that is, until the launch of Ford’s latest hybrid C-Max Solar Energi Concept, which can draw up to 75% of its energy from the sun, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by four metric tonnes. Another car launched at the show is the Toyota hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car, set to hit the market next year, which emits only water vapour from its tailpipes. Read more
By Medilyn Manibo in Eco-business.com (7 January 2014):
Ford launches solar car that could hit mass market
The US car manufacturer reveals its latest hybrid C-Max Solar Energi Concept, which can tap on the sun to power up to 75 per cent of all trips made by an average driver
Solar-powered cars could move from the confines of college engineering experiments into the mass market if Ford’s latest hybrid C-Max Solar Energi Concept takes off.
The United States car manufacturer is set to unveil its latest concept at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week, which will not only be welcomed by motorists looking for a greener drive, but is also likely to boost the solar industry, which has seen its fair share of booms and busts in the last few years.
“The sun could power up to 75 per cent of all trips made by an average driver in a solar hybrid vehicle. This could be especially important in places where the electric grid is underdeveloped, unreliable and expensive to use.
“Ford C-MAX Solar Energi Concept shines a new light on electric transportation and renewable energy,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford global director of vehicle electrification and infrastructure. “As an innovation leader, we want to further the public dialog about the art of the possible in moving the world toward a cleaner future.”
The off-the-grid concept could reduce a typical owner’s annual greenhouse gas emissions by four metric tonnes, according to Ford’s estimates.
Created in partnership with SunPower Corp and Georgia Institute of Technology, the C-MAX Solar Energi uses a special Fresnel lens in order to direct sunlight to the solar cells, drawing enough power each day equal to a four-hour battery charge. The patent-pending technology follows the concept similar to a magnifying glass.
Ford said its plug-in brand C-Max Energi, which runs to a range of 620 miles in full charge is its plug-in sales leader, outselling competitor brands in the last months of 2013, and brought in more than a total of 6,300 units sold. But there is no telling whether consumers are ready to rally behind the new idea and rely on sunshine.
However, the car is also not totally off-the-grid as Ford has installed a charge port so owners have the option to plug it into a charging station and power up via the grid.
“The sun could power up to 75 per cent of all trips made by an average driver in a solar hybrid vehicle. This could be especially important in places where the electric grid is underdeveloped, unreliable and expensive to use,” a Ford statement said.
Toyota Reveals Hydrogen-Powered, Zero-Emissions, Fuel-Cell Car For 2015
By John Johnston in The 9 Billion (7 January 2014):
Toyota hydrogen fuel-cell car
At the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Toyota has announced the launch of a hydrogen-powered fuel-cell car. The new hydrogen car, which emits only water vapor from the tailpipe, will be on sale to customers next year.
Toyota has indicated that it will be a global launch, which is certainly showing commitment, considering that currently there is distinct lack of hydrogen refuelling infrastructure worldwide. Unsurprisingly, even though it’s a global launch, Toyota has said it will release the hydrogen car in California first. California has approved around $200 million for the development of a statewide network of hydrogen refuelling stations, starting with 20 stations in 2015.
The new hydrogen car hasn’t been given a name yet, but it looks a bit like a cross between a Corolla and a Prius, both of which are very popular lines for Toyota. Although most details about the car are not yet available, Toyota has been road-testing the hydrogen car and it has apparently achieved 300 miles (483 kilometers) on a single tank of hydrogen, and takes only 5 minutes to refill with high-pressure hydrogen.