Jan 25, 2019 | Community Solar News, EV Chargers, Solar Energy

# When will EV’s Dominate California Roadways?

Registration figures published by the California New Car Dealers Association report that pure EV’s claimed 7.83% of market share for the second quarter, 2018. This is up from 3.3% in second quarter, 2017. Estimates show that EV’s will reach a 20% market share by the end of 2020, that’s more than 400,000 new EV sales in the next two years.

With California is moving forward on crafting new fuel economy rules for 2026 and beyond, with a goal to establish those new standards by June of 2020, we should see a continued demmand for EV’s.

Next 10, a think tank in San Francisco, estimates new EV sales will surpass 1.5 million by the year 2025 in California alone.

It’s often said that more vehicle models will boost EV sales, and historically that has proven to be true. According to the California New Car Dealers Association, new light truck sales surpassed new car sales in the state last year. This year, that gap widened — despite high gas prices.

The key going forward is that new EV models need to align with broader automotive industry trends if they’re going to break out of the early-adopter population. Specifically, there need to be more electric trucks, crossovers and SUVs.

Total cost of ownership is now in line with traditional gas vehicles. An analysis of 17 popular models found that EV’s can already be price-competitive without gevernment incentives. Based on 12,330 miles driven per year, the pure battery electric Nissan Leaf has a LOWER five-year and 10-year cycle cost of ownership than the internal combustion Hyundai Elantra and the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt, even without gevernment incentives.

If you’re thinking about buying an EV, we encourage homeowners to consider solar energy and a Level 2 charger. The solar tax credit will dropat the end of 2019, and energy rates are likely to sharply increase. Going solar and switching to an EV will not only significantly cut your carbon footprint, but also save you a lot of money. Call Solarponics for a free Solar PLUS Battery PLUS EV Charger quote today. (805) 466-5595.

Nov 14, 2018 | EV Chargers, Renewable Energy News, Solar Energy

**Watts Up With Solar-Powered Cars?**

**Check out these two super cool solar-powered cars.**

For years, the concept of solar-powered cars has loomed over the electric car industry as a hopeful, possible future. But there are many who argue that this concept is not only impractical, it is basically impossible.

But the innovators behind Lightyear One, a fully solar-powered vehicle to be released in 2019, just won an award for their design. Lightyear One, a car whose ability to use solar power has been thought of as an impossible feat, just won a Climate Change Innovator Award. Designed by the Dutch startup Lightyear, the “car that charges itself” can supposedly drive for months without charging and has a 400 – 800 km range.

German manufacturer Sono Motors is taking pre-orders for its Sion solar-powered car, with the vehicles due on Europe’s roads in 2019. Other manufacturers also have solar vehicles in development. Dutch Company Lightyear says the first deliveries of its own fully solar-powered car are scheduled for 2020, a year later than originally planned.

Both the Lightyear One and Sion vehicles are covered in solar panels that can either power the car directly, or charge the onboard battery.

**End of the fill-up?**

The batteries in the solar-powered cars offer a fairly standard range compared with other electric vehicles. The Sion has a 250km range, while the Lightyear One has a 400-600km range. By way of comparison, the Tesla Model S has a sector-leading range of more than 630km.

However, while you would need to recharge standard EVs at the end of their range, solar-powered cars could, in theory, go on and on. Even if the Sion’s battery was empty, its manufacturer says the car could drive 30km per day. Lightyear, meanwhile, says its car could run for months without being charged.

This could help overcome one of the biggest barriers to widespread EV adoption, the lack of charging points.

Bloomberg predicts that by 2022 EVs will cost the same as fossil fuel cars, helping kick-start a trend that could see them account for more than a third of global new vehicle sales by 2040.

Whether solar-power vehicles will join this affordability trend remains to be seen. The Lightyear One is currently being marketed at prices from $140,000, excluding taxes.

Sono’s Sion, on the other hand, is pitched to be more affordable, sitting within the market range for an average-price vehicle, which in the EU is currently around $25,000. The company is taking pre-orders for the vehicle at $18,800, plus a $4,700 rental charge for the battery.

Do you have an EV and are looking for a Level 2 EV Charger?

Sep 25, 2017 | EV Chargers, Learning Resources, Renewable Energy News, Solar Energy

# In the market for an EV?

# Here’s how to understand your energy fuel savings, and the true cost of charging your EV.

Example: If you buy a Nissan Leaf, charge at home, and drive 1,000 mi/ month, your electric bill will increase by $62/month in added use.

HERE’S HOW TO CALCULATE:

**1. Start with the electric car’s energy consumption rate**, which is expressed as kWh per 100 miles. The average is 31kWh/100 mi. All EV window stickers base the MPGe on a national average of 12¢ per kWh. DO NOT USE THIS number. It is not representative of what YOU will pay.

**2. Then figure out what you pay for electricity.** If you are a PG&E customer living in the central coast, your average cost per kWh for electricity to charge your EV is 20¢/kWh.

**3. Multiply 20¢/kWh by the EV models stated kWh/100 miles.**

The sum is your cost per 100 miles driven.

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CURRENT EV MODEL kWh/MILES:

Hyundai Electric = 25 kWh/100 mi

BMW i3 = 27 kWh/100 miles

Scion iQ = 28 kWh/100 miles

Chevy Bolt = 28 kWh/100 mi

Chevy Spark = 28 kWh/100 mi

VW eGulf = 28 kWh/100 mi

Honda Fit = 29 kWh/100 miles

Fiat 500e = 29 kWh/100 mi

Mitsubishi = 30 kWh/100 miles

**Nissan Leaf = 31 kWh/100 mi AVERAGE**

Ford Focus Electric = 32 kWh/100 mi

Smart ForTwo = 32kWh/100 mi

Kia Soul Electric = 32 kWh/100 mi

Tesla Model S = 32 kWh/100 mi

Mercedes B-Class Electric = 40 kWh/100 mi

Toyota Rav 4 EV = 43 kWh/100 mi

____________________________________________

**LET’S CALCULATE.**

The Nissan Leaf is rated at 31 kWh/100 miles.

Average kWh energy costs = 20¢

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31 x 20¢ = $6.20 per 100 mile charge

$6.20 / 100 miles = 6.2¢ per mile electric costs.

The Nissan Leaf costs 6.2¢/mile to drive.

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**COMPARE TO A GAS VEHICLE.**

Driving a gas vehicle that gets 21 MPG, with gas at $3.50/gallon, the gas vehicle costs 16.6¢ per mile to drive. Driven 1,000 miles/month, the gas vehicle costs $167/month in fuel costs.

Gas Vehicle = $ 167/month in fuel costs

Nissan Leaf EV = $62/month electricity costs

SAVINGS = $105/month

## SAVINGS MORE WITH AN EV PLUS SOLAR

Here’s where solar PV and battery storage can really magnify your savings.

Solar electric currently costs less than 8¢ per kWh to generate,

well under the average utility rate of 20¢ per kWh.

____________________________________________

8¢ x 31 = $2.48 per 100 mile charge

$2.48 / 100 miles = 2.5¢ per mile electric costs.

____________________________________________

If you drive the average of 1,000 mi/month, the Nissan Leaf

will cost you $25/month in electricity.

____________________________________________

Gas Vehicle = $167/month fuel costs

Nissan Leaf EV w/ solar = $25/month electricity costs

SAVINGS = $142/month

Feb 23, 2017 | Financing, Solar Energy

MPGe

**How To Understand EV Fuel Efficiency**

I know what MPG is. But what the heck is MPGe? Ask anyone what kind of gas mileage their car gets (MPG), and they will probably know right off the top of their head. We’re obsessed with the gas mileage of our cars, in large part because of the high cost of gasoline. Gas mileage performance ranks as a top decision when deciding to buy a new car.

But how do we determine the fuel costs (MPGe) of an electric vehicle? How do we really know the cost comparison to drive an electric vehicle 100 miles, vs. driving a gasoline vehicle 100 miles? What does MPGe mean? How are the stickers calculating annual fuel cost? How do the manufacturers calculate my five-year fuel savings over a new gasoline vehicle?

The first thing I should point out is that the window sticker of an EV makes several assumptions. First, that energy rates are 12¢ per kWh, that gasoline costs $4.00 per gallon, and that a new fuel efficient gasoline vehicle gets 22 miles per gallon. I’ll explain the window sticker using these assumptions, and then compare that to real-life values.

**The electric vehicle MPGe, or Miles Per Gallon equivalent, represents the number of miles the vehicle can travel using the same energy content as gasoline.** My EV window sticker states an MPGe of 99. This is also the maximum distance this vehicle can travel on a full charge.

Electric vehicles use kWh (the measure of energy from electricity), not MPG to state their energy use. My EV window sticker says it uses 34kWh per 100 miles driven. We’ll need to convert the amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline into kWh of energy. I will skip all of the formulas, most of which I don’t understand anyway, and just report that the MPGe metric introduced in 2010 by the EPA is based on their formula in which 33.7 kWh of electricity is equivalent to one gallon of gasoline, rounded up to 34kWh.

The window sticker compares the EV to a gasoline vehicle that gets 22 MPG. For this vehicle to travel 100 miles, it will use 4.5 gallons of gas. If a gallon of gas is equal to 34kWh of energy, and our gasoline vehicle can drive 100 miles using 4.5 gallons of gas, then our gasoline vehicle uses 85 kWh per 100 miles driven. At $4.00 per gallon, our gasoline vehicle costs $18 per 100 miles driven.

- Electric vehicle gets 100 miles per 34 kWh
- Gasoline vehicle gets 100 miles per 85kWh

Our gasoline vehicle uses 2.5 times more kWh of energy to travel the same distance as the EV. But, the cost of the fuel that creates the kWh of energy is quite different, and as those costs change, so will the cost of operating each vehicle.

Case1:

- Electric energy costs 12¢ per kWh (34kWh x .12 = $4.08 per 100 miles)
- At 15,000 miles per year, annual fuel cost is $612
- 5 year fuel costs = $3,060

Case2:

- Gasoline vehicle gets 100 miles per 85kWh
- Gasoline costs $4.00 per gallon (4.5 gallons x $4.00 per gallon = $18.00 per 100 mi)
- At 15,000 miles per year, annual fuel cost is $2,700
- 5 year fuel costs = $13,500

Our gasoline vehicle costs over four times more for fuel, $13,500, or $10,440 more over five years ($13,500 – $3,060 = $ 10,440).

But gas is not $4.00 per gallon, energy rates are not always 12¢ per kWh, and a new, fuel-efficient gasoline vehicle get more than 22 MPG.

Here’s what happens when we adjust those costs for real life costs.

The fueleconomy.gov website puts the average MPG for a new gasoline fuel-efficient vehicle at 40 MPG. If we are comparing the best fuel efficient EV to a gasoline vehicle, we should compare it to a new fuel-efficient gasoline vehicle. 40 MPG = 0.025 gallons of gas per mile, or 2.5 gallons per 100 miles driven.

A six-month running average cost of gasoline in California is $2.69 per gallon. Our gasoline vehicle costs us $ 6.73 per 100 miles ($2.69 per gallon x 2.5 gallons per 100 mi = $6.73).

Off-peak EV electric rates are as low as 12¢ per kWh. Medium demand is 24¢ per kWh, and peak demand is a staggering 44.5¢ per kWh. When you charge your vehicle depends on what you pay. Just a few hours of charging at medium demand rate or peak rate can put your kWh costs at 22¢ or more per kWh, costing $7.48 per 100 miles driven (34kWh x 22¢ = $7.48 per 100 miles driven). All of a sudden, our cost per mile driven for each vehicle is drastically different.

Case1:

- Electric energy costs 22¢ per kWh (34kWh x .22 = $7.48 per 100 miles)
- At 15,000 miles per year, annual fuel cost is $1,122
- 5 year fuel costs = $5,610

Case2:

- Gasoline vehicle gets 100 miles per 2.5 gallons
- Gasoline costs $2.69 per gallon (2.5 gallons x = $2.69 = $6.72 per 100 miles)
- At 15,000 miles per year, annual fuel cost is $1,008
- 5 year fuel costs = $5,040

Based on adjusted costs for energy, our gasoline vehicle is now less expensive per mile for fuel. With gas at $2.69 per gallon, our actual 5 year fuel savings is not a savings at all ($5,610-$5,040 = $570). You could actually PAY $570 MORE to fuel you EV.

Utility rates are constantly changing. Charging at the wrong time can be very expensive. The cost of gasoline could also easily rise above $5.00/gallon at anytime. Gas prices are certainly more volatile than electric utility prices, so it is most likely that a gasoline vehicle will cost you much more to drive per mile than an EV under most circumstances. I don’t hold any hope in the price of gasoline staying at $2.69 per gallon in California for very long, nor do I hold out any hope of electric rates holding at 12¢ per kWh, so I would be very cautious when calculating five-year fuel costs, and make sure to account for annual energy price increases of 6% per year when determining your actual MPGe.

This is, of course, why we recommend adding a solar energy system. With a solar electric system installed at your home, you have added another layer of cost savings that can be sized to produce the energy your home will need as well as to charge your EV. With a solar electric system, you are locking in your energy rates at today’s cost of solar for the life of the solar energy system. You are no longer at the complete mercy of grid utility rates and fluctuations. Now you can make accurate projections of your annual fuel costs for an EV.

Go into the decision to buy an electric vehicle with these factors in mind. Of course, we have not discussed the environmental impacts of an EV vs. gasoline vehicle, or the cost of repair and maintenance. These factors should also be considered. But at least now you understand the true cost per mile driven of electric vehicles over a gasoline vehicle. Happy shopping.