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.