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Solar Panels Paired With Electric Vehicles Open up a World of Possibilities

By Travis Hoium - Jan 14, 2014 at 8:01AM

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Imagine getting 2,000 miles of range from your vehicle without any effort at all. That's what solar panels can do for electric vehicles and Ford is combining with SunPower to make it possible.

Ford's (F -2.02%) new C-Max Energi concept car is the first major vehicle to combine solar and electric powers to drive vehicles, opening up a world of possibilities for the future. The concept car has 300 watts of SunPower's (SPWR -3.99%) high-efficiency solar panels placed on the roof, which will nearly charge the vehicle's 21-mile range in a day. But what does the future bring for the combination of solar and EVs? 

Fool contributor Travis Hoium explains below that a vehicle like Tesla's (TSLA -2.77%) Model S could get 2,000 extra miles of range per year from adding a similar small solar array. That's power that's free and clear once the vehicle is purchased, and it doesn't require any effort to use. Such an easy energy source is revolutionary in the auto industry and opens up billions of dollars in opportunities for SunPower as well. 

Fool contributor Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of SunPower and personally owns shares and has the following options: long January 2015 $5 calls on SunPower, long January 2015 $7 calls on SunPower, long January 2015 $15 calls on SunPower, long January 2015 $25 calls on SunPower, and long January 2015 $40 calls on SunPower. The Motley Fool recommends Ford and Tesla Motors. The Motley Fool owns shares of Ford and Tesla Motors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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Stocks Mentioned

Ford Motor Company Stock Quote
Ford Motor Company
F
$15.82 (-2.02%) $0.33
Tesla, Inc. Stock Quote
Tesla, Inc.
TSLA
$883.46 (-2.77%) $-25.15
SunPower Corporation Stock Quote
SunPower Corporation
SPWR
$24.78 (-3.99%) $-1.03

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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