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Ford Focus Electric will offer solar home option

Running an electric car on the power of the sun is many an EV enthusiast’s dream. Ford isn’t the first company to combine EV charging with solar energy, but it is trying to make it as easy as possible to go from driving on imported oil to extremely local energy.

Through a new partnership with SunPower, Ford will offer a 2.5-kilowatt rooftop solar system to people who buy the upcoming Ford Focus Electric (and, later, the C-Max Energi plug-in hybrid) that should, under the right conditions, create around 3,000 kWh of electricity a year. Put one of these on your house and, Ford says, that’s enough to drive 1,000 miles a month. But, you say, I like to drive during the day and so then how will my car charge? As solar advocates know, the idea here is to offset the (potentially) coal-generated electricity your car charges with at night by feeding totally clean energy into the grid during the day. Until solar panels and EVs become so efficient that cartop solar devices can power the car, this type of setup is about as clean as you can get with a “normal” car. Ford’s even calling the new partnership “Drive Green for Life,” which is not inappropriate. The only problem? Adding the SunPower “option” to your Focus will cost you around $10,000 (after federal tax credits).

Toyota has also worked with SunPower in the past, putting the largest single-roof solar installation in North America onto the company’s North America Parts Center California.
Show full PR text
Here Comes the Sun: Ford and SunPower Team up to Let Focus Electric Customers ‘Drive Green for Life’

Ford and SunPower team up to provide a high-efficiency rooftop solar system that will provide Focus Electric owners enough renewable energy production to offset the energy used for charging.

Ford and SunPower team up to provide a high-efficiency rooftop solar system that will provide Focus Electric owners enough renewable energy production to offset the energy used for charging.
The 2.5 kilowatt SunPower system will produce an estimated 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. SunPower systems are backed by a 25-year warranty.
Ford’s aggressive electrification strategy includes the launch of five electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and Europe by 2013. The new Focus Electric is a zero-emissions, gasoline-free version of Ford’s popular global Focus model.

Dearborn, Mich., Aug. 10, 2011 – Ford and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) have teamed up to offer customers a rooftop solar system that will allow Focus Electric owners to “Drive Green for Life” by providing customers with enough clean, renewable energy to offset the electricity used to charge the vehicle.

“Under the ‘Drive Green for Life’ program, Focus Electric owners can reduce their total cost of ownership by generating enough energy from their high efficiency SunPower rooftop solar system to offset the electricity required to charge the vehicle at night,” said Mike Tinskey, Ford director of Global Vehicle Electrification and Infrastructure. “It’s an eco-friendly solution that perfectly complements our plug-in products and other green initiatives.”

“SunPower’s innovative partnership with Ford is a win-win for customers, providing a comprehensive sustainability program,” said Tom Werner, SunPower president and CEO. “By taking advantage of this program, Focus Electric customers can receive the added benefit of installing a SunPower solar system, the highest-efficiency, most reliable on the market today, generating the electricity needed to charge their vehicles.”

The 2.5 kilowatt rooftop solar system is comprised of the SunPower® E18 Series solar panels that produce an average of 3,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. These high-efficiency solar panels generate approximately 50 percent more electricity than conventional panels and utilize a smaller footprint on the roof. The system was sized to accommodate a customer who drives about 1,000 miles per month.

The complete SunPower solar system is offered at a base price of less than $10,000*, after federal tax credits. Local and state rebates, along with other incentives, may drive the system cost down even more, depending on a customer’s location. Included in the purchase is a residential monitoring system, which includes the ability to track the performance of their solar system on the web or through an iPhone application. Affordable financing options for the solar system are available through SunPower. This price point does not include local sales tax.

Interested Focus Electric customers will be contacted by a participating SunPower dealer who will visit their home to begin the installation process. SunPower leads the industry with more than 400 dealers in the U.S., and can support the initial Focus Electric roll out in all 19 markets.

In addition to the Focus Electric, the SunPower rooftop solar system will be compatible with the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid electric vehicle Ford is rolling out in 2012.

Two Complementary Charging Solutions for Focus Electric Owners
By partnering with SunPower, Ford now offers Focus Electric owners two complementary charging solutions to make the overall experience of owning an electric vehicle easier. In January, Ford announced an agreement with consumer electronics leader Best Buy to offer a 240-volt home charging station for the Focus Electric and future electric vehicle owners.

“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 Tinskey.

The Power of Choice
Electrification is an important piece of Ford’s overall product sustainability strategy, which includes the launch of five electrified vehicles in North America by 2012 and in Europe by 2013. Ford launched the Transit Connect Electric small commercial van in 2010 and will launch the all-new Focus Electric later this year. In 2012, these models will be joined in North America by the new C-MAX Hybrid, a second next-generation lithium-ion battery hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid. This diverse range of electrified vehicles allows Ford to meet a variety of consumer driving needs.

*This offer assumes normal installation conditions, not including modifications to a roof, electrical service panel or excessive wire requirements.


About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford’s products, please visit

About SunPower
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA, SPWRB) designs, manufactures and delivers the highest efficiency, highest reliability solar panels and systems available today. Residential, business, government and utility customers rely on the company’s quarter century of experience and guaranteed performance to provide maximum return on investment throughout the life of the solar system. Headquartered in San Jose, Calif., SunPower has offices in North America, Europe, Australia and Asia. For more information, visit

I really hope that you don’t cause the Car Talk folks to enter into litigation over the posting of copyrighted material without permission!

I do post the links, so that should count for something, but if the admins/mods want me to stop, I will.

Since you’re a lawyer VDCdriver…I suggest you research the law and post back as to what laws that may be violated. My company has public screens that have URL’s to other companies and their data WITHOUT their permission and never heard a word from our Lawyers about it. Been doing it for years…As long as it’s public access then there’s NOT a problem.

Posting links is one thing, I think it the text that’s the issue.

As for the Ford program, it’s good advertising. Of course, the electricity from the panels will not be used much of the time for charging the car, it’ll be at the wrong time of the day, the car will be out, it’ll be cloudy, it’ll be winter, etc. It’s just a way to get a total amount of electricity per year equal to the total used by the car. And without subsidies, those would be some expensive KW-Hrs!

well in this case, Autoblog is just regurgitating a press release from Ford, and so they don’t have claim of ownership of that text. The only thing that they (supposedly, anyway) wrote is contained in the first couple paragraphs, and that could probably be successfully defended as fair use since it was properly attributed.

The bottom of every Autoblog page has a “Terms of Use” link which, when referring to its content, states:

“Owned by us or our suppliers and may only be used as we specify.”

And then it has a link to more strongly worded “Terms of Service” page.

I’m not a lawyer, but unless I were given permission otherwise, I would follow the advice given by others to “summarize the content” and then post a link to the autoblog entry.

Autoblog can say whatever it wants. That doesn’t make it the law. The example I usually use is a store posting a sign that says their employees are allowed to shoot shoplifters. Writing the sign did not magically make murder legal.

Autoblog is regurgitating press releases. Verbatim. They have no legal ownership of those releases - only the company that released them does, and press releases by their very nature are meant to be copied and published without further permission. Autoblog has nothing to say in the matter.

If Autoblog’s terms of use statement were legal, then Autoblog would gain full distribution rights to any press release it decided to publish. In other words, Ford sending them this press release was a huge blunder on Ford’s part, because Autoblog can now force anyone else who wants to publish the press release - including Ford - to stop. . Or pay Autoblog for the privilege.

The way it should be worded is: “Content written by us is owned by us and may only be used as we specify. Content written by others and published on our site is published by permission and may only be used as the original author specifies.”

BTW, the fun part here is that if you look at Autoblog and Jalopnik, they copy each other all day long. If something interesting appears on one, it’ll be up, almost word for word, on the other within hours. So if they were foolish enough to start a pissing contest with Car Talk over whether or not we can copy a press release that they regurgitated, they’d be opening a very big can of worms.

I do recall seeing things on AB that automotive news reports on it’s site, and AN DOES have a paid subscription based content, though it does allow 2 articles to be read for free before you get the “you need to pay us to read this” spiel. So, if AB is actually copying, word for word, from AN, wouldn’t THAT count as violation of copyright material others have to pay for(similar to the Napster issue several years ago)

Legal problems ? “bscar”, you ought to be getting a commission.

BTW "but it is trying to make it as easy as possible to go from driving on imported oil to extremely local energy."
Would you call 93 million miles, local ?