Ford, SunPower to provide a rooftop solar system to Focus Electric owners

Article by Christian Andrei, on August 10, 2011

Ford has partnered with SunPower to come out with a rooftop solar system that could potentially reduce the charging expenses of Focus Electric buyers. This move is a part of the “Drive Green for Life” program.

It consists of a 2.5 kW rooftop solar system that features SunPower E18 Series solar panels that generate an average of 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity yearly. Compared to conventional panels, these efficient solar panels offer about 50% additional electricity.

They also use a smaller roof area. This system is meant to fill the needs of a customer who drives an average of 1,000 miles (1,600 km) monthly. Mike Tinskey, Ford director of Global Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure, said that with this program, the ownership cost could be reduced by producing enough energy from the SunPower rooftop solar system to offset the electricity needed to charge the vehicle at night.

Tinskey added that this is a solution that’s eco-friendly and is a perfect match to its plug-in products and other green initiatives.

The SunPower solar system has a price tag of about $10,000 after federal tax credits. Ford asserts that other incentives like local and state rebates may lower the price further.

This system is compatible with the Focus Electric as well as with the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, which will arrive in the market next year. Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO, said that SunPower's innovative partnership with Ford is a “win-win” for customers as it offers a comprehensive sustainability program.

The rooftop solar system is made up of the SunPower E18 Series solar panels that give you an average of 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity yearly. These are highly efficient solar panels that generate around 50% more electricity than the standard solar panels and leave a reduced footprint on your car’s roof. These solar panels can easily power your Ford Focus exclusively if you drive 1,000 miles every month.

The 2.5-kilowatt solar panel system is available for a base price of not more than $10,000, exclusive of sales tax. That can be lesser, assuming you qualify for federal tax credits, state rebates, local rebates and other incentives. Also included in the package is the residential monitoring system where you can track the performance of the solar panels on the Web or through a mobile app on your iPhone. If you need financing options, you can talk to SunPower about the packages they have.

If you own a Ford Focus Electric, you might be contacted by a SunPower dealer who will then visit your home to install the solar panels. The company leads the industry with at least 400 dealers in the United States alone. SunPower has enough dealers to support the Focus Electric launch in 19 markets.

Aside from the Focus Electric, the SunPower rooftop solar system will also work on the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that Ford is launching in 2012.

Two Charging Solutions for the Focus Electric

With its partnership with SunPower, the American carmaker can now give their Focus Electric two charging options to make it easier to own the car. In January, Ford has said that they have partnered with Best Buy to distribute a 240-volt charging station for the home, and this charging station would work for Ford Focus and other electric vehicles.

Ford director of global vehicle electrification and infrastructure Mike Tinskey says that the partnership with Best Buy and SunPower gives Focus owners more solutions to their charging needs, as well as drives down the overall cost of ownership.

The Power of Choice

Electrification is a significant component of the car company’s overall product sustainability strategy. Ford is launching five electrified vehicles in North America by the year 2012, and in Europe a year after. The company also launched the Transit Connect Electric commercial van in 2010 and will release the Focus Electric this year. Other models in the pipeline are the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. All of these electric vehicles give Ford the chance to cater to an assortment of their customers’ driving needs.

Press Release

Here Comes the Sun: Ford and SunPower Team up to Let Focus Electric Customers 'Drive Green for Life'

Ford and SunPower team up to provide a high-efficiency rooftop solar system that will provide Focus Electric owners enough renewable energy production to offset the energy used for charging. Login to download images.

Ford and SunPower team up to provide a high-efficiency rooftop solar system that will provide Focus Electric owners enough renewable energy production to offset the energy used for charging.

The 2.5 kilowatt SunPower system will produce an estimated 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. SunPower systems are backed by a 25-year warranty.

Ford's aggressive electrification strategy includes the launch of five electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and Europe by 2013. The new Focus Electric is a zero-emissions, gasoline-free version of Ford's popular global Focus model.

Dearborn, Mich., Aug. 10, 2011 – Ford and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) have teamed up to offer customers a rooftop solar system that will allow Focus Electric owners to "Drive Green for Life" by providing customers with enough clean, renewable energy to offset the electricity used to charge the vehicle.

"Under the 'Drive Green for Life' program, Focus Electric owners can reduce their total cost of ownership by generating enough energy from their high efficiency SunPower rooftop solar system to offset the electricity required to charge the vehicle at night," said Mike Tinskey, Ford director of Global Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure. "It's an eco-friendly solution that perfectly complements our plug-in products and other green initiatives."

"SunPower's innovative partnership with Ford is a win-win for customers, providing a comprehensive sustainability program," said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO. "By taking advantage of this program, Focus Electric customers can receive the added benefit of installing a SunPower solar system, the highest-efficiency, most reliable on the market today, generating the electricity needed to charge their vehicles."

The 2.5 kilowatt rooftop solar system is comprised of the SunPower® E18 Series solar panels that produce an average of 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. These high-efficiency solar panels generate approximately 50 percent more electricity than conventional panels and utilize a smaller footprint on the roof. The system was sized to accommodate a customer who drives about 1,000 miles per month.

The complete SunPower solar system is offered at a base price of less than $10,000*, after federal tax credits. Local and state rebates, along with other incentives, may drive the system cost down even more, depending on a customer's location. Included in the purchase is a residential monitoring system, which includes the ability to track the performance of their solar system on the web or through an iPhone application. Affordable financing options for the solar system are available through SunPower. This price point does not include local sales tax.

Interested Focus Electric customers will be contacted by a participating SunPower dealer who will visit their home to begin the installation process. SunPower leads the industry with more than 400 dealers in the U.S., and can support the initial Focus Electric roll out in all 19 markets.

In addition to the Focus Electric, the SunPower rooftop solar system will be compatible with the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle Ford is rolling out in 2012.

Two Complementary Charging Solutions for Focus Electric Owners
By partnering with SunPower, Ford now offers Focus Electric owners two complementary charging solutions to make the overall experience of owning an electric vehicle easier. In January, Ford announced an agreement with consumer electronics leader Best Buy to offer a 240-volt home charging station for the Focus Electric and future electric vehicle owners.

"The goal of working with both SunPower and Best Buy was to offer Focus Electric owners solutions to charging needs that help lower the vehicle's overall cost of ownership," said Tinskey.

The Power of Choice
Electrification is an important piece of Ford's overall product sustainability strategy, which includes the launch of five electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and in Europe by 2013. Ford launched the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010 and will launch the all-new Focus Electric later this year. In 2012, these models will be joined in North America by the new C-MAX Hybrid, a second next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. This diverse range of electrified vehicles allows Ford to meet a variety of consumer driving needs.

*This offer assumes normal installation conditions, not including modifications to a roof, electrical service panel or excessive wire requirements.

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