Electric vehicle purchases are on the rise, and it’s looking more and more like the cool cars of the future will all have a plug. But what is the best way to power them? According to the numbers, it’s with solar.
Car and Driver magazine published an article listing every electric vehicle scheduled to come out in the next five years. Audi, BMW, Chevrolet, Ford, Cadillac, and even some companies you probably haven’t heard of yet, like the Michigan-based startup Bollinger, all have EVs in the lineup.
You may even have heard the commitments by major car manufacturers to go all-electric or zero-emissions (GM: all-electric by 2035, Volvo: all-electric by 2030, Ford: carbon neutral by 2050). That means that your next car or at least the one after that will probably be an electric vehicle.
How exciting is that?
You won’t have to gas it up anymore, but you will need to charge it. And you’ll want to know how to charge it the cheapest way possible (after all, unlike gasoline, there is no electricity that is “better” or more “engine-friendly” than another).
How much does it cost to charge an electric car?
Luckily, SolarReviews has already started crunching the numbers for you. They compared the cost of public charging stations, to using your utility’s power, to rooftop solar. And they discovered that the most reliably cost-effective way to charge your electric vehicle is with a home solar system.
Take a look at their figures, based on an average of 40 miles per day of driving:
|Charge your car with:
|How much it’ll cost you:
|A few other things to know:
|Public charging stations
|$.28 to $.69 per kWh
|Varies based on location and entity; additional fees or subscriptions may apply; cost increases over time
|Power from your utility
|$.10 to $.40 per kWh
|Varies based on your address and the time of day you charge; rates increase over time
|Less than $.11 per kWh
|Based on 25 years of warrantied solar panel usage; solar panels will continue to perform after that time; additional solar energy can be used to power your home
Other reasons to charge your EV with your own solar system
Besides being the cheapest way to charge an electric vehicle, there are other reasons to consider a rooftop or ground mount solar system for your home.
- You’ll pay less for the rest of the electricity you use as well (most homeowners save 30% to 50% on energy costs)
- You’ll avoid the inevitable rate hikes from your utility
- It’s more environmentally friendly (but you knew that)
- If you add battery storage, you’re protected from outages
- It raises the value of your home (check out #5 in this blog post for more on that)
- Your solar system will be paid off well before it stops performing, meaning you’ll essentially be getting your electricity for free! (And, no, solar systems don’t require a lot of maintenance)
Solar is the future, and we’re seeing more and more that it’s the most cost effective way of harnessing energy here in the present as well.