Ford said today that it will offer customers a rooftop solar system with its new Focus Electric that goes on sale later this year. Ford said its “Drive Green for Life” option will provide buyers with enough clean, renewable energy to offset the electricity used to charge the vehicle.
The 2.5 kilowatt rooftop solar system will use solar panels from SunPower Corp. that produce an average of 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. Ford said the high-efficiency solar panels generate approximately 50 percent more electricity than conventional panels and utilize a smaller footprint on the roof. The system will provide enough electricity for a customer who drives about 1,000 miles per month.
“It’s an eco-friendly solution that perfectly complements our plug-in products and other green initiatives,” Mike Tinskey, Ford director of Global Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure, said in a statement.
The complete SunPower solar system will be available for about $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 the solar system on the web or through a smartphone application.
SunPower also said it will offer financing options for the solar system.
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 plans to roll out in 2012.
By partnering with SunPower, Ford said it will offer 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.
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 California and New York, before expanding the the rest of the nation.
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.