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Not too long ago, Ford's storied Michigan Assembly Plant cranked out oversized SUVs. Now, after a $550-million investment, Ford's 50-plus-year-old factory has been converted into one of the company's most modern facilities in the world and the only one capable of churning out fuel-efficient gas-powered cars and three production versions of electrified vehicles: a battery-powered compact, an upcoming gas-electric and a plug-in hybrid.

When Ford's re-tooled Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne starts building the Focus Electric next year, a chunk of the electrical energy used in the plant will be provided by one of the largest solar arrays in Michigan. Detroit Edison, Xtreme Power and the state of Michigan are partnering with Ford to install a 500-kilowatt solar array along with a 750-kilowatt battery system with 2 megawatt-hours of capacity. The solar power system will be used to power production of the Focus and Focus Electric a