You Can Drive on Sunshine, Says SolarCity

By Jason Davis | July 29, 2011
Chevy Volt and Nissan Leaf drivers will soon be able to drive on sunshine. SolarCity, the nation's largest provider of business and residential solar systems, has teamed with ClipperCreek to offer an affordable, home-based, solar powered EV charging station. For as little as $1500, including installation, SolarCity customers will receive a 240-volt quick charging, solar-powered electric vehicle charging station in their home or business. SolarCity says solar-charged EV customers could spend 77 percent less compared to gasoline-powered cars, based on San Francisco area fuel and electricity prices.
“SolarCity’s mission has always been to help homeowners and businesses adopt clean power while saving on energy costs,” said Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity. “Electric cars are already among the cleanest-running vehicles on the road—charging them on solar makes them that much better. Tens of thousands of electric cars will be delivered over the next year alone, with hundreds of thousands expected over the next five years. We’re making it easier to power them with carbon-free electricity for zero emissions as well as dramatically reducing the cost of driving.” The price does come with a catch, however. Customers must also agree to lease or purchase a SolarCity solar system for their house, though monthly rates can be as little as $54. But for many eco-conscious EV owners, that's hardly twisting their arm. The home unit would still be connected to the grid, and when excess power is generated, the home's meter would spin backwards, actually crediting the homeowner. Even with the $54 lease payment, homeowners would still decrease their monthly electric bill. The savings increase for deep-pocketed owners. If a customer buys the home system outright—an investment that can easily run thousands of dollars—there's no monthly payment. The price for those who don't want a solar home will pay $1750 for the solar charger. Best of all, since the charger uses a standardized design, it's compatible with the Chevy Volt, Ford Transit Connect, Nissan Leaf, the Tesla Roadster, and will work with other EVs that use the same connector. Source: SolarCity­