Ford and SunPower: Solar Power and Electric Vehicles made affordable

Automobile manufacturer Ford and the US solar panel producer SunPower have teamed up in a strategic partnership to encourage both renewable energy and electric vehicles (EVs). The program, given the somewhat to-the-point moniker “Drive Green for Life”, aims to set up homes with solar panels on their roofs (or solar car ports) and Ford Focus EVs in their garages by taking advantage of federal and state tax credits and incentive mechanisms for both technologies.

Similar those of Australia, solar power incentives and credits in the US exist in two tiers: federal and state. (Read about federal and state incentive mechanisms in Australia.) The cost of the Ford Focus EV is expected to be about $30,000USD after federal subsidies of approximately $7500, and the solar power system component is expected to cost around $10,000USD after federal tax credits.

As $40,000USD is not an exorbitant price to pay for a new car in the US, and the combination of an EV and its own charging station for the same amount will certainly be an attractive package for many new car buyers–especially environmentally conscious ones and those concerned about rising energy prices.

Costs associated with the EV/solar system combo are expected to be even lower once state subsidies are factored into the equation. Depending on the state, solar feed-in tariffs may even allow net electricity exporters to offset their electricity usage and reduce their electricity bills.

© 2011 Solar Choice Pty Ltd

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Related Solar Choice articles: Changing stations for electric vehicles : Solar-powered car ports

Sustainable Industries, “Ford and SunPower team up to offer solar-powered electric vehicles.”

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James Martin II