With rising oil and gasoline prices, Americans are fed up with the pumps and many are considering an electric vehicle (EV) powered by solar energy. We have an addiction to oil that threatens both our national and economic security. As a nation, we let more than $1 billion go to foreign countries to finance our oil needs. This is money that sometimes goes to enemies who pose a threat to our country. An electric vehicle would empower Americans to source this fuel “domestically.” However, an electric car is typically charged by energy drawn from your utility and oil still makes up a small percentage of the country’s electricity fuel mix.
Instead, many homeowners contemplating an electric vehicle would prefer to power their car with clean, green solar electricity. So how much solar energy do you need to generate to power your electric car? Let’s use some simple math. American consumers drive on average 12,000 miles a year. The Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt, and Mini E use about 1 kWh for every 4 or 5 miles driven. Therefore, you would need to generate between 200 and 250 kWh per month from solar electricity. In New England, this would equate to approximately 2.5 kW of installed solar capacity (DC STC), or about 10 250-watt standard modules or less than 8 SunPower 327-watt modules.
If you’re interested in solar powering your home and have plans to purchase an electric vehicle in the future, I recommend you start researching and gathering quotes from local solar installers. As the number of installations goes up, federal and state incentives will be phased out. Although solar can be installed modularly, there are a lot of fixed costs involved. It would make the most financial sense to build a system today keeping in mind your future goals, i.e. an electric vehicle.
Don’t wait, right now is the best time to make solar investment in Massachusetts. Brightstar Solar works with residential and commercial customers i to navigate the installation process and maximize solar financing and incentive opportunities. If you are interested in learning more about how solar power can offset your current and future electricity demand in Massachusetts, please contact us for a free evaluation of your site.