Driving in savings-neutral territory so far

Source: LA Times

By: Susan Carpenter

The first mass-market electric cars come on the U.S. market this year. The Chevy Volt, anticipated to be about $40,000, will be out in November, followed by the $32,780 Nissan Leaf in December. Both are billed as zero-emissions vehicles.

While most of the article talked about her strife with being an early adopter, I think that this part of the article was great and informative:

“Anyone who wants to charge an electric car using rooftop solar at home should buy the car first. Doing so not only will ensure the maximum rebate from the utility but also make installation more cost effective. According to the folks at 1 Block Off the Grid, it’s better to install a large solar system from the get-go than to start small and add on later. Technical and logistical issues may include difficulty finding the same type of panels and a need to change the inverter that transforms solar energy into usable electricity.

I asked how much larger an installation would be needed to accommodate a car such as the Nissan Leaf, presuming a weekday commute of 20 miles. According to 1 Block Off the Grid, the system would need to be .79 kilowatt larger. Applying all applicable rebates, that would cost an additional $1,800. For a homeowner driving the same number of miles in a gasoline-powered vehicle, the system would pay for itself in three years.”

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