Image Courtesy CarandDriver.com

Image Courtesy CarandDriver.com

The automobile world was awash with the news this week that Ford has created its first solar-powered hybrid car, the Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept. It includes a solar panel system on its roof that can track the position of the sun, according to the BBC. Ford’s new technology investment, the Energi concept, was officially introduced at the annual Consumer Electronic Show that began January 7 in Las Vegas.

The car, which was created through a collaboration between Ford, Georgia Tech and SunPower, is a hybrid that can travel up to 21 miles on electricity alone when fully charged, according to the BBC report. Given a full charge of sun, Ford says the Solar Energi Concept has the same 620-mile range as its conventional plug-in hybrid. The Solar Energy Concept will also be equipped with a conventional charging apparatus so it can be charged via the power grid.

The solar panel on the car is specially constructed with a “concentrator lens” called a Fresnal lens, that works like a magnifying glass and “boosts the sunlight by a factor of eight,” according to the BBC.

Image Courtesy News.EasyBranches.com

Image Courtesy News.EasyBranches.com

Image Courtesy Yahoo.com

Image Courtesy Yahoo.com

This solar news allows us a chance to check back on some of the solar company stocks we have been following in recent posts. Most were on the upswing in the latter half of 2013.

San Mateo, CA-based SolarCity Corp. (Nasdaq: SCTY) designs, installs and sells or leases solar energy systems to residential and commercial customers, as well as electric vehicle charging products.  On January 6, the company was upgraded by Goldman Sachs to a “Conviction Buy.”  The last time we checked (May 8, 2013) SCTY closed at $24.16 with a market cap of $1.8 billion. SCTY closed January 6 at $63.61. Its 52-week trading range is $13.11-$67.14.

Ontario, Canada-based Canadian Solar (Nasdaq: CSIQ), which sells a variety of solar products, closed May 8 at $5.29 with a market cap of $228 million. On January 6 CSIQ closed at $35.73 with a market cap of $1.68 billion. Its 52-week trading range is $3.12 -$38.84.

San Jose, CA-based SunPower Corp. (Nasdaq: SPWR), which makes a wide variety of solar products and systems and is one of the principals in the Antelope Valley Solar Project, closed May 8 at $15.36 with a market cap of $1.8 billion. SPWR closed January 6 at $32.44 with a market cap of $5.47 billion. Its 52-week trading range is $7.08-$35.39.

China-based Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) designs, manufactures and sells photovoltaic modules worldwide.  TSL closed May 8 at $4.72. On January 6 it closed at $16.02 with a market cap of $1.34 billion. Its 52-week trading range is now $3.31-$17.84.

China-based Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. (NYSE: YGE) makes photovoltaic products including cells, modules and systems. YGE closed back on May 8 at $2.20 with a market cap of $356 million. It closed January 6 at $6.53 with a market cap of $1.14 billion. Its 52-week trading range is $1.62-$8.77.

China-based Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STPFQ), the world’s largest producer of solar panels, closed May 8 at $0.51 with a market cap of $92 million. STPFQ closed January 6 at $.572 with a market cap of $103.4 million. Its 52-week trading range is $0.30-$1.95.

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