The electric car isn’t new to the auto industry—it’s been around for years. But as awareness of climate change and carbon emissions grow, along with the price of oil, the notion of an electric car or electric vehicle (EV) is becoming more attractive.
But would a rise in the popularity of the electric car also signal a boom for the solar industry?
At least one man thinks so.
Peder Norby, the owner of a Mini-E electric car and a Stellar Solar rooftop installation, is absolutely convinced of this fact. A San Diego County Planning Commissioner, Norby powers both his home in Carlsbad, Calif., and his electric car with a Sunpower PV system. He simply plugs his Mini-E into his solar-powered home and, just like that, he doesn’t just have an electric car, he has a solar-powered electric car.
“We can stop the oil flow when we drive with solar, and we can also save money and our environment at the same time,” said Norby.
After purchasing his Mini-E electric car, Norby came to the team at Stellar Solar asking for additional panels to be added to his existing Sunpower system, so he could power his car with the sun as well. Now that he uses his solar installation to power both his home and his car, he saves a substantial amount of money—the equivalent of paying only 39 cents per gallon of gasoline.
“What’s really surprising is the cost savings,” said Michael Powers, vice president of marketing for Stellar Solar. “When you plug your electric car into your solar-powered house, the cost-per-mile is incredibly cheaper. A typical gas-powered car currently costs about 15 cents per mile in fuel cost. Drive an EV plugged into the power grid and your cost-per-mile is more than cut in half—to 5.7 cents. Plug that EV into your solar-powered home and your car fuel cost drops down to as little as 2 cents per mile.”
Norby is convinced the future of solar power will be driven by the electric car.
“Norby’s theory is that the cost savings and the benefits of solar power become more evident with the electric car,” said Powers. “Solar panels are on the roof, but the car is driven every day. He believes being able to plug your car into your solar house is really going to be the driving force in the industry.”
Image courtesy of Stellar Solar.