October 28, 2016

SunPower-ed Electric Vehicles

The new Tesla S model will boast a generous 315 miles on a single charge[1]. The Nissan Leaf allows drivers to float on to 107 miles with ease[2]. The BMW i3 can run 114 miles on a full charge[3]. Electric vehicles are making large strides because of the battery improvement that allows for longer distances in travelling. The horror stories of getting stranded in the middle of nowhere because the battery ran out of juice seems to be a thing of the past.

The question as to whether electric vehicles are practical has been answered through this new wave of efficient models. The lithium ion battery technology keeps getting better and now electric vehicles are a competitive choice for those who are financially savvy and want to go green.

In terms of the day-to-day savings, the average electric vehicle owner pays a third of what their gasoline-fueled counterparts pay[4]. The additional perks include lower maintenance costs because of the cutting out of oil changes, transmission repairs, and spark-plug replacements.

“There’s no oil change necessary, there’s no internal combustion and no transmission,” said Craig Oeser[5], a senior operations engineer at Sunpower. “There’s just an electric motor and a big battery running your engine. Imagine what it’s like not knowing what the cost of a gallon of gas is! I have no idea, and I consider that a badge of honor; I haven’t bought gas in a really long time.”

The government has also stepped in to provide incentives in purchasing electric cars by giving a $7500 tax credit to those who purchase new models[6].

But the question remains on how to maximize savings in owning an electric vehicle. Electric car companies have seen that their models and solar systems fit hand in glove. Both seek to maximize efficiency and savings as well as helping the environment.

The Benefits of Partnership

The Audi energy program highlights the partnership between Audi and SunPower to give a $1500 mail-in rebate to those who sign up for the high-power solar system[7]. This program helps with reducing carbon emissions and provides savings for electric vehicle home owners through the SunPower solar system.

Ford and Sierra Club has also partnered with SunPower with an agreement to donate $500 to Sierra Club, an environmental organization, and give a $750 mail-in rebate to those who own a Ford electric vehicle and sign up for a SunPower solar system[8].

Besides these incentives to match your electric vehicle with a SunPower system, how will you save money overall by installing our system? Allow for some explanation on how this works.

To know how a solar system can power the home and the electric vehicle, calculations need to be made about the vehicle in determining how many kilowatt hours (kWh) it will need in order to run for a year[9]. This needs to be added on top of the yearly kWh usage of the home to determine the size of the solar system required to generate savings. But Green Convergence gives a free consultation to run the exact details on what it would take to power your home!

SunPower has set the world record for the most efficient residential solar panels on the market at a blazing 24.1% efficiency rating[10]. This means that the panels installed will generate the most energy and in turn will reduce the electric bills that would otherwise be charged for home and electric car use.

Getting a solar system with an electric vehicle just makes sense in trying to go green while saving money on energy bills[11].

“We just had our three-year anniversary of going solar[12],” said Mark and Cathleen Albers, employee at SunPower. “Now our electrical bill is net-positive, by about $300 annually. So we both agree: EV [electric vehicle] and PV [photovoltaic: process of solar energy generation] go together really well!”

Greener vs. Greenest

Going EV is a large environmental step in the right direction but at the end of the day the car still uses electricity produced from the process of burning coals. Electric vehicles are still run on electricity that is either being generated by power stations as they are burning coal and therefore is still technically not completely “green”[13]. However, by going solar the energy generated is through the photovoltaic process that will produce the energy required from a free natural source.

In essence, the power produced by SunPower panels are truly from a naturally green source: the sun. SunPower wishes to help power your current (or future) electric vehicle through a natural energy source.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day it still comes down to the numbers. But this is where SunPower solar systems shines. The cheaper costs of power for the car compared to gasoline combined with a cash or generous finance plan will allow for savings on electricity and fuel far earlier than generally expected.

SunPower’s natural energy source work to lower energy costs from charging the electric vehicle and therefore lowering the electric bills. As a result, the cost to run an electric vehicle will be significantly lower (at times nearly eliminate) and remains this way indefinitely because of a free energy source for charging.

Historically, both gas prices and electricity bills tend to rise while SunPower solar panels work to consistently provide sufficient energy for both the home and the electric vehicle.

[1] https://www.tesla.com/blog/new-tesla-model-s-now-quickest-production-car-world

[2] http://www.nissanusa.com/electric-cars/leaf/versions-specs/

[3] http://www.bmwusa.com/vehicles/bmwi/i3.html

[4] http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/2013/03/electric-cars-101/index.htm, http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2015/12/11/eight-reasons-to-buy-an-electric-car-when-gas-is-two-bucks-a-gallon/#3add08835705

[5] https://us.sunpower.com/blog/2015/09/12/electric-cars-and-solar-power-go-better-together-green-lifestyle/

[6] http://www.forbes.com/sites/jimgorzelany/2015/12/11/eight-reasons-to-buy-an-electric-car-when-gas-is-two-bucks-a-gallon/#3add08835705

[7] http://solar.sunpowercorp.com/audi, https://www.audiusa.com/newsroom/news/press-releases/2014/08/audi-energy-new-sustainability-program-etron-experience

[8] https://us.sunpower.com/partnerships/ford-focus-electric-vehicle/

[9] http://news.energysage.com/solar-panels-and-electric-cars-can-i-use-solar-to-charge-my-vehicle/

[10] http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/SunPower-Again-Holds-Record-For-Worlds-Most-Efficient-Rooftop-Solar-Panel

[11] https://us.sunpower.com/blog/2015/09/12/electric-cars-and-solar-power-go-better-together-green-lifestyle/

[12] https://us.sunpower.com/blog/2015/09/12/electric-cars-and-solar-power-go-better-together-green-lifestyle/

[13] http://www.solarschools.net/resources/stuff/how_electricity_is_made.aspx


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