Now this is a product for a green age: A California-based producer of charging stations has co-partnered with another company to distribute solar-power charges compatible with all electric vehicles.
You read correctly: now you'll be able to drive your electric car on sunshine.
ClipperCreek Inc., an Auburn, Calif.-based producer of charging stations has inked a deal with San Mateo, Calif.-based SolarCity whereby SolarCity will install Clipper's chargers through 25 of its operations centers across the United States.
Prices for the Clipper 240-volt chargers begin at $1,500. Company executives say recharging your electric car from electricity generated form a home solar system can cost up to 77 percent less than fueling your car with gasoline.
The average U.S. price of regular unleaded is $3.65 per gallon, which translates to about $230 per month to fuel a gas-powered car. With the Clipper/SolarCity system, the cost would be $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.
"SolarCity's mission has always been to help homeowners and businesses adopt clean power while saving on energy costs," Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity, said in a statement. "Electric cars are already among the cleanest-running vehicles on the road-charging them on solar makes them that much better. Tens of thousands of electric cars will be delivered over the next year alone, with hundreds of thousands expected over the next five years. We're making it easier to power them with carbon-free electricity for zero emissions, and to dramatically reduce the cost of driving."
ClipperCreek aleady manufactures chargers for special alternate-fuel vehicles, including the Chevrolet Volt, Nissn Leaf, and the Tesla Roadster.
Energy/Transportation Analysis: The above may be the best energy news data point of the month, if not the summer. One major turning point in U.S. energy use will be when electric cars represent the majority of cars in use. A second major turning point will be when you can charge those cars via sunlight -- creating a vehicle whose propulsion system is de-coupled from fossil fuels.