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Ford, SunPower Offer Solar Offset System for Focus Electric

Ford and SunPower Corp. have created a rooftop solar system that they say will provide Focus Electric owners with enough renewable energy to offset the electricity used to charge the vehicle.

Through such offsets, participants in the “Drive Green for Life” program should significantly lower the cost of running their electric vehicle, the companies said.

The 2.5 kW rooftop solar system is comprised of SunPower E18 Series solar panels that produce an average of 3,000 kWh of electricity annually. Sun Power says that these generate about 50 percent more electricity than conventional panels and have a smaller footprint on the roof.

The system was sized to accommodate a customer who drives about 1,000 miles per month. The complete system is offered at a base price of under $10,000, after federal tax credits, SunPower says.

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

In July, General Motors signed commercial agreements with Sunlogics for the installation of solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations at Chevrolet dealerships and GM facilities.

Each solar canopy is expected to generate electricity equivalent to 12 full vehicle charges per day, and any electricity that is not used by the chargers will be re-routed to supply the dealership as a whole, GM said.

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4 thoughts on “Ford, SunPower Offer Solar Offset System for Focus Electric

  1. One hopes that vehicle manufacturers will NOT start linking their models to one specific solar panel and vice versa. This would be a huge missed opportunity and will retard the market both for solar panels and electric vehicles. Imagine if you could only drive down the street when you were wearing one color of clothing: you would make less journeys.

  2. It is not the solar panels that are the concern of being proprietary it is the charging unit stuck on the end of it that needs to be addressed. Just like electricity in your home can come from anyone putting any kind of power into the grid, but you need one type of charger for your phone another for your MP3 player another for your camera and so on. Even then the charger for your iPhone is different from the charger for your son’s Android phone which is different from your daughter’s regular phone. SUPPOSEDLY there is a standard that all the electric car companies are going to use for the chargers and charging port. I’ll believe that when I see it, the only reason I have for optimism there is if they don’t standardize there would never be any such thing as remote charging stations at stores, parking garages etc.

  3. It is true that E18 Series and E19 Series produce more electricity than other solar solutions. However, the question is, whether the system will be compatible with other solar systems already installed on a solar-powered house. Having a separate system for your vehicle and for heating would not make any sense. If it would be possible to hook up to an existing system and save some initial costs through some programs like ecoENERGY Home Retrofit Program I think people would go for it. There are countless reasons that solar energy is worth the investment.

  4. SunPower collectors are made in China. If I could charge a vehicle with a fully truly American-made PV system – I’d feel a lot better about investing in this.

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