Ford is preparing to enter the modern electric vehicle market with the upcoming release of the Ford Focus Electric and potential customers will have a new optional upgrade to consider – a rooftop solar system. Ford has partnered with SunPower to offer customers the ability to purchase a rooftop solar system that can be used for eco-friendly charging of their shiny new electric vehicle.

The partnership is part of Ford’s ‘Drive Green for Life’ program, which will help Focus Electric owners minimize their total cost of ownership by using an off grid alternative to charge their vehicles. The sun-loving energy-generating systems will use SunPower’s E18 solar panels, which are both more efficient than older solar panels and also use a smaller footprint than conventional systems.

Each 2.5-kilowatt SunPower rooftop solar system is expected to generate approximately 3,000-kilowatt hours of electricity annually. This should be enough to meet the charging needs of a Ford Focus Electric owner that drives 1,000 miles per month.

“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.” Source: Ford

As is the case with all automotive upgrades, customers want to know how much the rooftop solar system costs. Ford reports that the base price of the system is under $10,000 once federal tax credits have been applied. However, additional tax incentives available from state and local governments or even utility companies may reduce the overall cost of the system.

The Ford Focus Electric will be available in select markets, including Atlanta, Houston and Phoenix, later this year.