Solar Car Upgrade: Ford and SunPower Make It Easier Than Ever To Charge EVs

Ford Motors and SunPower have teamed up to offer a rooftop solar charger for Ford Focus Electric vehicle owners. According to the company the renewable energy source option will cost $10,000 after energy efficiency rebates, a small price to pay to turn your electric vehicle into a solar car of sorts.

The new solar panel charging stations are part of Ford’s new “Drive Green for Life” program which focuses on renewable energy sources to offset the electricity used by EVs.

According to the announcement the SunPower rooftop solar system will be compatible with C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles which Ford will roll out in 2012.

The new solution will feature a 2.5 kilowatt rooftop system made up of SunPower E18 series solar panels that are capable of producing 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually, while producing nearly 50 percent more electricity than conventional panels, while taking up less space on the cars roof.

According to SunPower the panel will provide enough electricity for 1,000 miles of travel per month.

For $10,000 the company will also provide a residential monitoring system which tracks the users solar system performance on the web and through the use of an iPhone application.

Ford Electric and C-MAX Energi buyers will be able to request the SunPower systems when they order their vehicles through more than 400 dealers in the US.

Would you be willing to spend an additional $10,000 for a solar panel charging system for your electric vehicle? For users who drive 1,000 miles per month the savings could be decent, while environmentalists will no doubt appreciate the electricity savings offered by the SunPower charging system and the convenience the solar car rooftop system offers.