Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ford's Solar Powered Charging Stations

Ford Motor Company is using SunPower Corp.’s panels for its solar electric vehicle charging system. The charging stations will fuel Ford's new EVs (Focus Electric and C-Max Energi). The system employs rooftop solar panels which feeds power to an electric vehicle charger. Under Ford’s “Drive Green for Life” program customers can get the 2.5-kilowatt solar-powered charging station for under $10,000. The price includes federal tax credits but not state or local rebates. Loans and leases to offset the cost of the solar roof are also available.

The solar roof comes with a residential monitoring device that tracks the performance of the array and displays it on the Web or through an iPhone application. It will produce an average of 3,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity a year, enough for a car owner who drives 1,000 miles per month. The Focus has an average range of 100 miles. Ford plans to start selling the Focus this year and C-Max Energi in 2012.

In January 2011, Ford partnered with retailer Best Buy to sell a 240-volt home charging station. "The goal of working with both SunPower and Best Buy was to offer Focus Electric owners solutions to charging needs that help lower the vehicle's overall cost of ownership," said Mike Tinskey, Ford’s director of global vehicle electrification and infrastructure.

© 2011, Richard Matthews. All rights reserved.

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