SunPower & Ford: Teaming Up on PV+EV
When it comes to cutting carbon emissions, electric vehicles (EVs) are hands-down the best thing around for drivers. A recent study by the Union of Concerned Scientists reiterated that electric vehicles are a lot better for the environment than filling up a tank of unleaded, no matter where you live in the US. Even the most efficient hybrids can’t match EVs in places like North Carolina; that’s because most electric vehicles still have to use fossil fuels — any time you plug a Volt, Leaf or Focus into the wall, it’s pulling electricity off the grid, which unfortunately is often powered by coal plants. To cut emissions entirely, many EV owners are turning to solar to offset power for their new cars. You might like the idea of bypassing the gas station, but pairing a new EV with solar means you can bypass fossil fuels entirely.
Ford has already recognized the natural partnership of solar and EV charging, and is working with SunPower to offer discounted solar arrays to people buying new Focus Electric cars. SunPower makes the most efficient panels on the market, and this program would help people get a 2.5 kW system for less than $10,000 (after incentives). We absolutely love this idea! It’s a big step towards carbon neutral driving, which fits our mission as a company to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. SunPower and Ford estimate these systems can supply enough power to get drivers about 12,000 miles per year, and Southern Energy Management has been picked to install these systems in North Carolina.
The other great thing about this program is it’s putting solar in new places and helping continue to move it into the mainstream. Many of these new car owners probably haven’t given solar much thought before, but they’re going to end up being the newest advocates. How many other people can talk about completely cutting out gasoline AND reducing their electricity bills while potentially still driving just as much? It’s a compelling combo.
There’s a fantastic opportunity to learn a little more about the program in person this weekend: Ford and SunPower are bringing the “Go Forward” tour to Artsplosure on May 19th and 20th in downtown Raleigh. They’ll have a handful of Focus Electric cars that you can test drive, and a solar array set up to demonstrate how easy it is to charge electric vehicles with clean energy.
SEM is planning to have a crew on hand for part of the weekend and we hope to see you there! If you have any questions, please leave a comment or click here to contact us.
Southern Energy Management is a North Carolina-based sustainable energy company offering energy efficiency, green building and turn-key solar services for homeowners, builders, companies, government and military clients across the country. A certified B Corp, SEM's mission is to have a measurable impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and to build a sustainable triple-bottom-line company. SEM was founded in a living room in Raleigh in 2001, and now employs a team of more than 100 sustainable energy professionals. SEM is consistently recognized as an industry leader both locally and nationally, and is among a small handful of companies in the U.S. to earn the National Energy Star Partner of the Year award five times (in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011). SEM also received the City of Raleigh 2011 Environmental Stewardship Award and the 2010 Green Jobs Award from SJF Institute & Green For All. For more information, visit www.southern-energy.com.
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