Electric Vehicles

Your Next Car Should Be Electric!

Mendon-Upton Solarize Mass Plus is partnering with the non-profit Green Energy Consumers Alliance to make it easier for you to buy an electric car. The Green Energy Consumer Alliance Drive Green program makes researching, test-driving, and buying or leasing an EV car easier and more affordable.

Here’s why your next car should be electric:

  • Electric cars are better for the environment. A battery-electric car running on electricity from the grid emits a third of the greenhouse gases compared to burning gasoline. Electric vehicles (EVs) also reduce the local air pollution that harms our public health.

  • Run your car on Sunshine. If your electricity is solar, instead of fueling with gasoline, you are fueling your EV with the sun.

  • It’s cheaper to drive on electricity than gasoline. The average New Englander can save up to $600 a year in fuel costs alone. Lower maintenance costs for EVs means that you’ll also spend less time and money repairing your car.

    • EVs save as much as $1,800 in maintenance and repair over the first five years of ownership due to no oil changes or engine inspections.

    • Electric cars are simpler machines and have fewer moving parts, so the motor is less likely to break down, saving you the grief of unexpected car trouble and big bills from the mechanic.

    • Data shows that lithium-ion batteries used in electric cars hold up over time so you don't have to worry about replacing the battery.

  • It’s more convenient to plug-in at home than drive to gas stations. EV drivers do the majority of their charging at home, eliminating the need to take detours to the gas station. Several of the EVs will give you over 250 miles on a charge. Home charging is so much more convenient than going to a gas station.

  • Electric powertrains are quiet, zippy, and more fun to drive. EV drivers are overwhelmingly satisfied with their car’s performance, and most say they’ll never go back to driving a gas-powered car.

Electric vehicles and solar panels: Run your car on sunshine!

Solar panels and electric cars complement each other. If you install a solar array for your home through Mendon-Upton Solarize Mass Plus, the electricity you generate can be used to charge an electric car. This brings your transportation costs down to zero and reduces your carbon footprint dramatically.

If you think you want an electric car at some point, you can choose to size your solar installation to meet your future charging needs. However, that’s not necessary to enjoy the full benefits of both. Here are a few easy ways to integrate solar panels and an electric car.

• You can stretch your solar array’s energy output by upgrading your home’s energy efficiency.

Investing in more efficient light bulbs, appliances, or thermostats will free up solar energy to charge a car and decrease your overall energy costs without increasing the cost or capacity of your solar installation.

• Opt for a dual EV-charger/solar inverter.

If you know you’ll want to install a Level II charging station at home in the future, you can opt to purchase a solar inverter that’s also a car-charging station. This equipment qualifies for the 30% Investment Tax Credit (ITC) on your federal taxes, and you’ll be ready to charge when you get your car. SolarEdge has a good model.

• Figure out how much electricity your car will use and add solar capacity.

This depends on the efficiency of the car you’re interested in and your daily driving mileage. As an estimate, it will take about 3 kW of installed solar capacity in Massachusetts to charge a car that is driven 11,000 miles a year. Your PV installer could help you determine the amount of kW you might need.

• Determine if it makes financial sense to size up.

Installing more panels will increase your upfront installation costs, but because you will be generating more energy, you will also accumulate more net-metering credits. However, avoid installing a system larger than 10 kW; at that size, your net-metering rate will be reduced, and it will take longer for your installation to pay for itself.

• Make sure your system is “add-on” friendly if you don’t want to install additional panels right away.

You can add more panels in the future to meet your charging needs. To keep this option open, install a higher-power inverter (or microinverters) to match the generating capacity you may want in a couple of years.

Learn about the program and get started at Drive Green.

Our Partner – Green Energy Consumers Alliance

Green Energy Consumers Alliance is a non-profit organization that enables people to make green energy choices in the most cost-effective, practical ways possible, and to advocate for energy policies that benefit the greater good. Drive Green is Green Energy Consumers’ electric car discount program. Drive Green’s objective is to protect our climate and environment by getting electric vehicles on the road in place of gas-powered cars. Through pre-negotiated discounts to purchase or lease, educational resources, and test-drive opportunities, Drive Green offers a one-of-a-kind platform that makes going electric the right choice for our planet and the smart choice for your life.

Questions about electric cars? Ask Green Energy Consumers at: drivegreen@greenenergyconsumers.org or call us at 800-287-3950 x7

Drive Green

Check out this video from Green Energy Consumers Alliance to learn more about the Drive Green program

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