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Ford Motor Co. (F - Analyst Report) intends to introduce the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept car at the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The automaker revealed that the solar-powered concept car is as good as a plug-in hybrid, without the need for a plug.

Ford is manufacturing the new car in collaboration with SunPower Corp. and the Georgia Institute of Technology. The vehicle is powered with a gasoline engine integrated with a gizmo. This functions like a magnifying glass, focusing the sun's rays on the solar panels on the vehicle's roof. The sun-ray concentrator was developed by the Georgia Institute using Fresnel lens.  Solar energy charges the battery for four hours or 8 kilowatts.

This eco friendly vehicle is expected to limit greenhouse gas emission by four metric tons. Additionally, it will be providing 100 mpg on the city highway. Ford believes that solar energy can support about 75% of the trips made by an average driver. The concept car is also equipped with a plug-in port for electric charging.

Electric vehicles are gaining popularity with time. Ford sold 85,000 hybrid or electric vehicles in 2013, including 6,300 C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. After showcasing the vehicle, Ford will be considering large scale production of the vehicle.

Ford projects retail sales to exceed 1.7 million units in 2013. This will be the highest in the last six years. Meanwhile, retail sales of passenger cars are likely to cross 0.6 million units, the highest since 2000. Thus, Ford expects to retain the best-selling vehicle brand tag in the U.S. in 2013.

Ford is one of the largest automobile producers in the world along with General Motors Company (GM - Analyst Report), Toyota Motor Corporation (TM - Analyst Report) and Honda Motor Co., Ltd. (HMC - Analyst Report). Currently, Ford has a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

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