Ford is showing off its new home solar power energy storage system at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, and if you’re wondering what an auto maker is doing in the home energy business, now’s your chance to find out. The new storage system, by Sharp, is part of Ford’s seamless home-auto MyEnergi Lifestyle® package, which basically treats your house like a microgrid that embraces every appliance, including your electric vehicle.
We’ve noted before that by shaking off the petroleum ball-and-chain and transitioning to EV technology, auto manufacturers have opened the door to a startling array of new marketing opportunities.
That’s a critical shift for US auto manufacturers, which are looking at a market in which car ownership is no longer a priority for many young people. The MyEnergi package makes the financials of car ownership look a lot more attractive.
When Ford introduced the first version of MyEnergi Lifestyle in December 2013, its home-car programmability and remote communications reminded us of the Jetsons. Sure enough, by mid year Ford had announced a partnership with leading developer KB Home to integrate the package into KB’s new ZeroHouse 2.0 model.
The initial MyEnergi package is based around Ford’s new C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid EV. It consists of a partnership between Ford and power management company Eaton, the solar industry’s SunPower, home appliance company Whirlpool, and semiconductor innovator Infineon, along with smart thermostat pioneer Nest Labs.
The basic idea is to combine an on site solar array with the energy storage potential of the EV battery to enable home owners to shift as much of their load as possible onto solar power and low off-peak electricity rates, with the help of the latest energy-efficient appliances.
MyEnergi Lifestyle 2.0
This year’s version, MyEnergi Lifestyle 2.0, draws Sharp into the partnership to add a stationary battery component, enabling home owners to store more solar power. They’re pitching it from three angles: you save money, you have backup power during emergencies, and you help keep the planet from melting.
There’s also the potential for home owners to make some extra bucks on the side by selling energy from their stationary battery back to the grid.
In terms of saving the Earth, Ford has some big numbers in mind. Last year, Ford ran the MyEnergi package through a computer model developed by the Georgia Institute of Technology and came up with a 55 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from electricity used by the typical home.
For what it’s worth, if every single family home in the US adopted the same efficiencies, it would be like taking 32 million homes off the grid.
You can also check out a couple of case histories from 2013 at Ford’s MyEnergi website.
For you Ford truck fans out there who want to save the Earth, too, our sister site Gas2.org has been following the company’s next-generation F-150, which among other efficiencies has shed a good 700 pounds.
And for you Jetsons fans, keep an eye on Ford’s experimental LiDAR-enabled Fusion plug-in hybrid…
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