Later this year Ford will unveil the electric version of its best-selling Focus and in the process launch a two-pronged attack at carbon emissions in the US. Not only will the manufacturing giant be reducing emissions on the road with its first electric car, but it will be repeating the feat in the home by selling solar charging stations to its drivers.
The stations, powered by 11 of SunPower’s E18 series panels, will allow Focus owners to generate electricity for both their car and home. It is estimated that the 2.5kW rooftop arrays will generate around 3,000 kWh of electricity per annum – enough to power the electric sedan for around 1,000 miles. Each station will cost US$10,000 and also include a residential monitoring system.
"In effect, you are driving a solar-powered car," SunPower chief executive Tom Werner told USA Today, adding that customers have said they want to power the car themselves and break the link with fossil fuel-derived grid electricity.
Initially, the Focus is being sold in only California and New York, before being launched in other key markets in spring 2012.