Illinois man among first to solar-charge Focus EV

focuselectric_02It may be that Ty Newell and his wife Deb are not the first Ford Focus Electric owners in the U.S. solar-charging their FFE, but they’re the first we’ve heard of who are doing this.

And, considering that Ford has managed to sell only a few hundred Ford Focus Electrics in the U.S. so far, it’s certainly the case that the Newells are among the first to fuel their Focus Electric EV with PV.

In fact, the Newells, who live in Illinois, travelled to New York to buy their Focus Electric and then took it on a 1,650-mile road trip to get it back home, according to a recent story on Mlive.Com.

“Once it was available in New York, even though we live in Illinois, we decided to purchase one and then drive it back,” Ty Newell told Mlive.Com.

PV before the EV
The Newells added their solar PV before they got their EV, reversing the more typical route to solar-charged driving according to which most buy an EV, then add home solar later.

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“[Our house] has been designed so that it could also power a vehicle about 8,000 miles a year,” Ty Newell told Mlive.Com.

The Newells cover 100 percent of their electricity use with solar power. According to Ty Newell, the home has not had a utility bill in two years. In fact, according to Mlive.Com, the Newells have been overproducing by 1,000 kWh per year while they’ve patiently waited for a chance to buy a new Focus Electric.

Ultimately, Ty Newell explains that sustainable living is a crucial motivator.

“You don’t want things to run out on you,” he told MlIve.Com. “It doesn’t matter if it’s our generation or a few generations [in the future]; at some point somebody’s going to be hit with that.”

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