Solar Power Your Electric Vehicle and Save Money

Affordable and viable electric cars are now hitting the market. Today there is the Nissan Leaf, Mini E Electric Mini Cooper, Tesla Roadster, Chevy Volt and more. By 2012 nearly every major manufacturer will be offering some version of a plug-in Electric Vehicle or hybrid including popular models such as the Ford Fusion, Toyota Prius and BMW. Instead of filling these cars up at the gas station, you recharge them overnight in your own garage. And if your home is solar-powered, your car is also solar powered!Nissan Leaf Chargepoint

The low fuel cost is really surprising with electric vehicles. As the chart below explains, a typical gas-powered car currently costs about 20 cents per mile in fuel cost. Drive an EV plugged into the power grid and your cost-per-mile is cut by more than half, to 5.7 cents. Plug that EV into your solar-powered home and your automotive fuel cost drops down to as little as 2 cents per mile! To compare that 2 cents per mile to today’s gas prices, that’s equivalent to about 40 cents per gallon of gasoline in a gas-powered car! This is not a typo. Driving an EV powered by solar panels costs about 90% less than a gas powered car.

For example, driving 200 miles per week to commute to and from work costs about $40 in gasoline, but just $4 with a solar powered electric car.  On a monthly basis, that’s $160 in gas, but just $16 in electricity, only to go to work everyday. Factor in your other driving, and eliminate the need for the added cost of oil changes, and the savings get even larger.

Table: Comparison of Gasoline vs Electric Car Fuel Costs


Gasoline Car Electric Car Solar Electric Car
Fuel Cost $4.00/gallon 20¢ per kWh 7¢ per kWh
Car Mileage 20 mpg 3.5 mi per kWh 3.5 mi per kWh
Cost per Mile 20¢ per mile 5.7¢ per mile 2¢ per mile
 100 Mile Trip Comparison
Fuel Needed 5 gallons 28.6 kWh 28.6 kWh
Trip Cost $20.00 $5.72 $2.00

You can produce electricity for that 100 mile trip with a small 1 kW or 2kW solar panel system.  Prices start around $3,500, and you can apply a 30% federal tax credit and any state or local utility rebates for solar.  So you could charge your EV with solar panels for 25 years for as little as $2,400.  A solar panel setup like this would pay for itself in about a year of gas savings. 

Using solar energy to power your home is a great idea. Using home solar energy to power your car is an even better idea! Solar Panels Online is leading the way to that brighter future and can assist you in planning a system for your home and your electric car needs.  We have solar panels, EV charging stations and everything you’ll need to save a lot of money.

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