Solar Charging For Electric Cars Comes Home

Carbon-free power and zero emissions: It doesn’t get much more green than charging an electric vehicle (EV) with solar power. That dream got a shot in the arm when solar panel leasing company SolarCity announced recently it was teaming up with EV charger manufacturer ClipperCreek to begin marketing 240-volt electric car chargers. The idea is to team the charger with a home solar-energy system.

Pricing for home or business installation of a ClipperCreek 240-volt Level 2 EV charger, including the charger, starts at $1,500. SolarCity, a California-based company flush with a recent $280 million investment from Google, says charging at Level 2 is roughly five times faster than using a 120-volt wall outlet.

SolarCity EV charger

image via SolarCity

Powering an electric vehicle with a home solar system can be up to 77 percent cheaper than powering a car with gas, the companies claimed.  An average San Francisco Bay Area resident paying the national average of $3.65 per gallon gas spends about $230 per month to fuel her gas-powered car. She’d pay $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.

ClipperCreek’s UL-listed chargers are designed for use with the Chevy Volt, Ford Transit Connect, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster and all SAE-compatible plug-in vehicles that are soon to be released from major new car companies. Solar City has operations in Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C.

EarthTechling is launching a weekly green deals service in fall 2011 called Green Earthling Deals. Sign up for the weekly email by Wednesday, August 17, and you’ll be entered to win a 1st Step Weather Station from Urban Green Energy!

Steve Duda lives in West Seattle, WA with three dogs and a lot of outdoor gear. A part-time fly fishing fishing guide and full-time writer, Steve’s work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Seattle Weekly, American Angler, Fly Fish Journal, The Drake, Democracy Now! and many others.