Tired of paying for gas? The solution could be solar..


Tired of paying for gas? With these prices who isn't? Ford may have a solution. The company has teamed up with SunPower Corp. to offer a home rooftop solar system to their customers with electric or hybrid cars, that will provide enough clean, renewable energy to offset the electricity used to charge the vehicle. 

 

The 2.5-kW rooftop system uses the sun's energy to collect power to charge the vehical, instead of plugging it in at night. It's comprised of SunPower E18 Series solar panels that produce an average of 3,000 kWh of electricity annually. The companies say these high-efficiency solar panels generate about 50% more electricity than conventional panels. The system was sized to accommodate a customer who drives about 1,000 miles per month.


However, these green systems will cost a lot of green themselves: $10,000, after federal tax credits. Though the companies say local and state rebates, along with other incentives, may drive the system cost down even more, depending on a customer's location (let's hope). 

The system is compatible with the Focus Electric and also the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle Ford is rolling out in 2012.


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Comment by Charles H. Tankersley on August 27, 2011 at 6:42am
One thing missing is the four wheel hub mounted electric drive motors, computer controlled, of course. This will also eliminate any transmission and drive train weight, thus making the vehicle much lighter. And of course the LiFePO4 battery could help, too. All in all, the price must be lowered to a reasonable level, likely achieved by using lesser efficiency PV cell that cover the entire roof of the vehicle, providing plug-in charging, and encouraging parking the car in the sunshine while in the office our shopping. Actually, the PV cells themselves could be arranged to provide some shade for the interior of the vehicle and could also provide some power to a low energy cooling system while the vehicle is idle. Let's get innovative. I am sure many of you can think of more customer convenient, cost saving and energy saving ideas to apply to this design, too.
Comment by Donald Fitchett on August 18, 2011 at 9:03pm
They have to get the price of one model, below what it cost for gas powered, so people can afford the car first. then they can later save up for options to add on.

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