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Mike Stevens | Aug 12, 2011

When the Ford Focus Electric hits US showrooms later this year, buyers will also have the option of tacking a special home solar charging system onto the purchase.

Partnering with solar energy provider SunPower, Ford will soon begin offering rooftop arrays capable of delivering up to 3000kWh over the course of a year - enough to drive the Focus Electic over 1600km each month.

The 2.5kW system is comprised of 11 panels over about 13 square metres, and will cost buyers around US$10,000 after US$4000 in federal subsidies. According to Ford, a number of state government and local council incentives are also being locked in.

“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,” Ford US's Mike Tinskey said.

“It’s an eco-friendly solution that perfectly complements our plug-in products and other green initiatives.”

The system is expected to be popular among buyers keen to trumpet the green credentials of an electric vehicle without needing to subscribe to third-party recharge networks.

With the system directing power into the home's electricity network, those Focus Electric owners with less driving to get done will also benefit from the free power the solar panels can provide.

The Ford Focus Electric is powered by 91kW and 245Nm motor, drawing energy from a 23kWh lithium-ion battery pack.

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