Are you tired of spending a majority of your paycheck paying for gas to get to work? What if automotive fuel was no longer a money collector? As reported by CNBC in 2014, Ford's energy efficient concept car could help change the way we view our affects on the environment and how we drive.
The C-MAX Solar Energy Concept was created between the collaboration of Ford, SunPower Corp., and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The concept car runs primarily on solar power energy bringing us a step closer to a world where everyday driving isn't dependent of traditional energy sources. This powerful game changer uses a special concentrator that collects energy like a magnifying glass. The sun's intense rays collect energy on the car's solar roof panels, converting solar energy into 'fuel'.
And what's the best part about this concept? Theoretically, you wouldn't even need to plug the C-Max in for it to charge! Ford estimates that this 'unlimited' energy could cover about 75% of trips made in this hybrid vehicle, significantly cutting the costs of transportation for hundreds of individuals. According to Fortune, as of 2015, there were over 20 gigawatts of solar panels operating in the U.S., powering over 4.6 million U.S. homes. Within this same year, 40% of all new electricity-generating capacity came from solar power. Imagine the amount of energy, money, and fossil fuels that could be saved with the use of solar energy in the automotive industry. As discussed by NerdWallet, a 3kW solar panel system would create 450kWh per month, cutting a individual's energy bill in half! With the average lifespan of a solar panel being roughly 20-30 years, the benefits of this long lasting system seems almost limitless. None the less, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) has conducted a research study stating that, by 2050, your old solar modules could be worth over $15 billion in recyclable materials.
Solar powered vehicles have already existed. That's right. Are you surprised? Sure, you don't see solar powered cars driving down the street, but they have been a part of contests and research programs developing solar technology. These vehicles, however, have only been capable of carrying a single driver.
But what does this mean for the oil industry? Even if cars don't run on fossil fuels, a lot of technology and transportation today use fossil fuels to efficiently 'keep the world spinning'. Whether it's trains, planes, or automobiles, the need for oil will still exist, but what this new concept of solar power brings is the opportunity for economic growth. Not only will this influx of energy effect people's spending habits, but it will allow for companies to expand on their businesses, branching into solar energy. Job opportunities would be more readily available being that this reconstruction process of modern society is a dramatic switch from natural resource energy (destruction of nature) to environmentally friendly energy.
With all this solar power in mind, you may wonder how powerful this 'stuff' really is. How is this solar energy even created? Check it out! What amazing things do you think the future holds?