Thought this was a great article to highlight over @ fool.com. It’s no wonder a good percentage of people who buy an electric car or plugin hybrid end up getting solar. The economic payback is huge when compared to paying for gasoline. Take out the costs of the car itself, focus on only the energy source and you can pay off an average homes solar panels in around 5-6 years.
Lets say you drive about 15,000 miles now and take an average size 27 mpg car. Let’s say a Toyota Camry. The costs for that gas at $4.00 per gallon is approx $2200.00 per year! Let’s add in maintenance for an ICE car and you could easily add in another $300 per year for that Camry for a total of about $2700.00 extra per year. We are not even including the fact, you’ll have to replace brakes pads and other possible costly repairs for that Camry after 3 years. An EV requires very little maintenance. Although Tesla charges $600.00 per year, a nissan leaf has only a 1 time per year checkup and even that has not been required in our experience. Usually you just bring it in for software updates and they check the battery and battery health then. It’s more like a rolling computer. Also, you’ll likely trade in the vehicle or replace/upgrade the batteries with a new pack at some point. We think the repair costs/long term maintenance for a gas car over 6 years vs new battery pack likely cancel each other out. 6-10 years from now battery prices should be much lower as the volume of cars on the road will be approaching the 1 million mark or more. Like any electronics higher volume drastically reduces prices.
So now take your electric car, add solar and take that $2700.00 per year you were going to spend on the Camry gas and instead apply that to the cost of your solar panels. At current install rates an average solar array system after tax credits and rebates may run about $12,000.00. Voila after about 5 years you have paid for your panels, so your home power and all your next electric cars are free
People who get an EV quickly realize this game changing value proposition and it only stands to grow quickly over the coming decades.