Published on August 4th, 2011 | by Antonio Pasolini


Solar Power for Electric Cars

August 4th, 2011 by  

ClipperCreek 240-volt Level II EV charger.

Solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) chargers are bound to appease critics who say that electric vehicles are as clean as the energy that feeds them.

SolarCity has teamed up with ClipperCreek to provide electric vehicle (EV) chargers compatible with all new EVs. SolarCity will initially install ClipperCreek EV chargers through its 24 operations centers nationwide, making it the largest single provider of EV, solar, and energy efficiency services in the U.S.

The cost of installation of a ClipperCreek 240-volt Level II EV charger, including the charger, starts at $1,500. It can charge roughly five times faster than using a 120-volt wall outlet.

SolarCity says it can prepare a home or business to be EV-ready even before delivery of an electric car for those who wish to install EV chargers only and for its solar and energy-efficiency customers.

The companies say EV drivers using the charger can save up to 77 percent on fuel costs. They cite, as example, an average San Francisco Bay Area resident paying the national average of $3.65 per gallon gas and thus spending about $230 per month to fuel a gas-powered car. They would spend $107 to power an equivalent-size EV with grid electricity, and, by leasing a solar system from SolarCity, only $54 to power the car with solar electricity for the same miles driven.

Back in the 1990s, ClipperCreek pioneered EV-charger safety features that have become the industry standard. Some of the car models that its UL-listed chargers are designed for use with are the Chevy Volt, Ford Transit Connect, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster, and all SAE-compatible plug-in vehicles due to hit the market soon.

“We are pleased to partner with SolarCity to help increase the number of homes and businesses that can run electric cars on renewable energy,” said ClipperCreek president Dave Packard,. “Roughly 40 percent of residential EV owners have solar and we expect these environmental and economic benefits to expand with the coming proliferation of electric cars and increasing use of solar power.”

Photo via ClipperCreek

Check out our new 93-page EV report, based on over 2,000 surveys collected from EV drivers in 49 of 50 US states, 26 European countries, and 9 Canadian provinces.

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  • I’m guessing the author has more faith in naysayers and exceptionalists (as I refer to people who continuously think up exceptions to why something won’t work, in their estimation,) being appeased.  Vested interests are good at pointing out invented exceptions. Also, comparing gas tech, that’s been on the market many, many years to current tech that’s only now beginning to come into it’s own is ridiculously skewed.

  • Pingback: Solar Powered Air Conditioning for Cars | CleanTechnica()

  • Electric38

    OK so fuel = $230 x 12 months = $2,760. X ten years = $27,600

    So if I bought a solar charger and car with a couple swappable batteries) for say $17,000, I would be able to have an additional $10,000 to put back into the economy and would be basically getting the car for free? NAH.. couldn’t be. No wonder they are marking up the profit on the electrics so much….

    What about the cost of an electric bike? Similar solar savings? What am I missing here?

    • Anonymous

      yeah, i think the bike will save you a bit more. that’s my “car of choice” 😀 altho, these days, don’t even need one since i walk almost everywhere

      • I should put a sticker on my bicycle: “My other car is the city bus!” Also, the concept of living close to your place of business/employment, if not working at home, seems to escape many people.

        • Yes. 😀

          And yeah: currently, i mostly work at home, and my 2nd job for years has been within walking distance. Rent is a little higher, bu the transportation savings and health benefits of walking a bit daily are huge.
          Made the same decision last place I lived (Charlottesville, VA). Though, only lived a 5-minute walk from my office there, so not much in the way of health benefits from that.

          Unfort., people look at the price of one thing in isolation. “Oh, this is a cheap house.” (30 minutes – 1hr from work.) Or, “Man, this place is too expensive.” (right in the center of everything.) And it’s not just the cost of gas/transport they overlook, but also *time costs*!

  • Breath on the Wind

    Interesting article. I am looking forward to a picture of the solar aspect and how it works when it becomes available.

    •  I often wonder how online news distributors get their funding. Here’s an article that happens to mention a solar powered electric vehicle by Ford.  Imagine that, a US company thinking about the future. Yes, they do make a fast charger.
      And in other breaking news, you can charge your electric car with solar panels installed on your house!!! Wow!!!

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