Solar-powered Ford? Now that’s a bright idea!

Ford showed off a concept version of its electric plug-in hybrid cMax Energi crossover at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago.

Ford photo of solar roof on cMaxAnd the brightest idea? This car would come with a giant solar panel on the roof.

“As a result, Ford says the C-Max Solar Energi Concept can get the same performance from collecting a day's worth of sunlight as from plugging in its regular C-Max Energi into a socket,” according to a story in USA Today. “The automaker estimates that the sun could power 75 percent of a typical driver’s trips in the concept.”

The result? “A vehicle that takes a day's worth of sunlight to deliver the same performance as the conventional C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid,” Ford said in a statement.

We’ve written here before about how the environmental benefits of electric vehicles depend mostly on the sources of the electricity used to charge them: the cleaner the source, the “greener” the cars. There isn’t much cleaner energy out there than solar power.

So how about it, Ford? When can we see these concepts on the dealers’ lots?