Ford Motor Company and SunPower announced a program today to offer buyers of the 2012 Focus Electric the option to charge their vehicles using solar generated power. But before you start picturing a solar array on the car’s roof, read on.
The $10,000 option actually places 2.5 kilowatts of high efficiency solar panels on the roof of your home, and generates enough power to drive about 1,000 miles per month. If you work nights and charge your Focus during the day, you’ll literally be driving on solar power.
Of course, most vehicles are likely to be driven during the day and charged at night. So what the solar option really does is offset the power you purchase from the grid with clean solar from your roof.
While a bit pricy, what Ford and SunPower are offering isn’t a bad answer to EV critics, who rightly contend that electric vehicles are only as clean as the power that charges them. And until solar technology advances to the point that panels can be built into a vehicle’s roof, this may be as good as we’re going to get.
The Focus Electric and SunPower option are scheduled for a 19-market rollout in late 2001 and should be available across the U.S. sometime in 2012. Vehicle pricing has not yet been announced.