Your next car should be electric!
Green Needham has partnered with the non-profit Green Energy Consumers Alliance to make it easier for you to go electric as you’re going solar. Green Energy Consumers runs a program called Drive Green that makes researching, test-driving, and buying or leasing electric cars easier and more affordable.
Here’s why your next car should be electric:
- Electric cars are better for the environment– A battery-electric car running on electricity from the grid emits a third of the greenhouse gases compared to burning gasoline. Electric vehicles (EVs) also reduce the local air pollution that harms our public health.
- It’s cheaper to drive on electricity than gasoline – The average New Englander will save over $500 a year in fuel costs alone. Lower maintenance costs for EVs means that you’ll also spend less time and money repairing your car.
- It’s more convenient to plug-in at home than drive to gas stations – EV drivers do the majority of their charging at home, eliminating the need to take detours to the gas station.
- Electric powertrains are quiet, zippy, and more fun to drive – EV drivers are overwhelmingly satisfied with their car’s performance, and most say they’ll never go back to driving a gas-powered car.
Electric vehicles and solar panels: The perfect match!
Solar panels and electric cars complement each other. If you install a solar array for your home, the electricity you generate can be used to charge an electric car. This brings your transportation costs down to zero and reduces your carbon footprint dramatically.
If you think you want an electric car at some point, you can choose to size your solar installation to meet your future charging needs. When you talk with prospective solar installers, make that part of the conversation.
Regardless of the size of your system, you can enjoy the benefits of both. Here are a few easy ways to integrate solar panels and an electric car:
- You can stretch your solar array’s energy output by upgrading your home’s energy efficiency. Investing in more efficient lightbulbs, appliances, or thermostats will free up solar energy to charge a car and decrease your overall energy costs without increasing the cost or capacity of your solar installation.
- Opt for a dual EV-charger/solar inverter. If you know you’ll want to install a Level II charging station at home in the future, you can opt to purchase a solar inverter that’s also a car-charging station. This equipment qualifies for the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on your federal taxes, and you’ll be ready to charge when you get your car. SolarEdge has a good model.
- Othwerise, consider adding a circuit and dedicated outlet in your garage or on your house near where you park you car during your solar install. Your solar installation includes electrical work in your home. Level II electric vehicle chargers use a dedicated 30 or 40 amp circuit. It may pay to have this installed at the same time as the solar PV-related electrical work.
If you’d like to size-up your solar installation to meet your car-charging needs, here are some tips to get started.
- Figure out how much electricity your car will use. This depends on the efficiency of the car you’re interested in and your daily driving mileage. As an estimate, it will take about 3 kW of installed solar capacity in Massachusetts to charge a car that is driven 11,000 miles a year.
- Determine if it makes financial sense to size up. Installing more panels will increase your upfront installation costs, but because you will be generating more energy, you will also accumulate more net-metering credits. However, avoid installing a system larger than 10 kW; at that size, your net-metering rate will be reduced, and it will take longer for your installation to pay for itself.
- Make sure your system is “add-on” friendly if you don’t want to install additional panels right away. You can add more panels in the future to meet your charging needs. To keep this option open, install a higher-power inverter (or microinverters) to match the generating capacity you may want in a couple of years.
Drive Green with Solarize Needham Plus
Drive Green is an electric car discount program. Through pre-negotiated discounts to purchase or lease, educational resources, and test-drive opportunities, Drive Green offers a one-of-a-kind platform that makes going electric the right choice for our planet and the smart choice for your life.
Our Partner – Green Energy Consumers Alliance
Green Energy Consumers Alliance is a non-profit organization that enables people to make green energy choices in the most cost-effective, practical ways possible, and to advocate for energy policies that benefit the greater good. Drive Green is Green Energy Consumers’ electric car discount program. Drive Green’s objective is to protect our climate and environment by getting electric vehicles on the road in place of gas-powered cars. Through pre-negotiated discounts to purchase or lease, educational resources, and test-drive opportunities, Drive Green offers a one-of-a-kind platform that makes going electric the right choice for our planet and the smart choice for your life.
Questions about electric cars? Ask Green Energy Consumers at: email@example.com or call us at 800-287-3950 x7