You may have heard that getting solar is one of the smartest financial decisions you can make right now, but did you know you can go even smarter than that?
The answer is the electric vehicle (EV), a perfect compliment to any solar-powered home. Just like happy owners of solar-powered homes, we’re seeing a lot more happy Nissan Leaf, Chevy Volt and Toyota Prius (and yes, even a few lucky Tesla owners) drivers on the road these days. This trend hints that electric cars are likely slated to be the vehicles of the future.
1. An EV will save you even more money
It’s one thing to shrink down your electric bill to next to nothing — now imagine also shrinking down your gasoline bill to the same.
Like solar, electric cars come with a variety of federal and state tax incentives (up to $7,500 federally; check locally in your home state), which can greatly reduce the burden of cost. Even if you decide to lease, a dealer is more likely to offer you lower monthly payment since they’re able to financially benefit from the incentives themselves.
2. If you power your electric car using solar from your roof, you could cut your system payback time in half.
Granted, you’ll likely need to purchase some additional panels for your roof (an electric car will require about .79 kW hours of electric power), but the math still works out in your favor.
A great real-world example is this comes from Kevin Toefl’s and his GigaOm article on how he reduced his PV system payback point from 11.7 years down to 5.96 years — all thanks to his solar panels and Chevy Volt.
3. Let’s not forget the parking lot VIP status
You’ve seen these before — crowded parking lots that offer special premium parking spots for EVs, complete with free charging stations.
C’mon — you can’t deny these aren’t cool. There’s nothing like sparking jealous looks from frustrated parking hunters as you roll your shiny new Leaf into the special empty spot right near the front. Then you get refuel your car on the spot while it’s parked! Imagine this in reverse — special parking spots for gasoline cars stocked with pump full of free unleaded — not!
So just remember — the solar on your roof can power more than just your home. If you’re going to make a smart investment anyway, why not consider adding an electric car to the mix?