Manufacturing Savvy

Can Your Car's Solar System Offset Its Electricity Use? Ford's Focus Electric Can

Innovation is an amazing thing. Ford, in co-operation with SunPower Corp., has come up with a system whereby a 2.5 kilwatt rooftop solar system will produce 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.

This will offset the electricity used to charge the Focus Electric, which is a zero-emissions, gasoline-free version of Ford's Focus model.

The high-efficiency solar panels generate approximately 50% more electricity than conventional panels and utilize a smaller footprint on the roof. The system was sized to accommodate a driving range of 1,000 miles per month.

And this can be installed right at your home -- a SunPower dealer (there are more than 400 dealers in the U.S.) will just stop by.

Earlier this year Ford announced an agreement with Best Buy to offer a 240-volt home charging station for the Focus Electric and future electric vehicle owners.

Ford is moving quickly in this field. By 2012 in North American and 2013 in Europe the company will launch five electrified vehicles.

In 2010 the company launched the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van and will launch the 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.

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