Ford Sunpower.automotiveIT

Ford is teaming up with SunPower to provide solar roofs for the Focus Electric (Photo: Ford)

Ford Focus Electric buyers in the US will have the option to equip their car with a rooftop solar system that can feed electricity back to the grid and cover battery recharging costs.

The carmaker is teaming up with SunPower Corp, a US solar panel specialist, to provide a 2.5 kilowatt rooftop solar system that can produce an average 3,000 kilowatthours of electricity a year.

Mike Tinskey, Ford director of gobal vehicle electrification and infrastructure, said the rooftop solar panels will allow owners to offset the electricity used to charge their cars. "It's an eco-friendly solution that perfectly complements our plug-in products," he said in a press release.

SunPower's specially designed solar panels generate approximately 50 pc more electricity and are smaller than conventional panels. The system was sized to accommodate a customer who drives about 1,000 miles a month.

Ford said the system will be offered at a base price of less than $10,000, after federal tax credits. 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.