The electric vehicle trend is on the rise.
With the 2014 Nissan Leaf going on sale recently, Nissan is poised to expand production and dramatically boost sales of its United States built battery-electric hatchback. The electric vehicle trend is on the rise. In fact, every major automobile manufacturer is poised to have an electric or a plug in hybrid model on the market by 2016. Nissan in particular, says that they would like to see sales double in 2014, from the 22,610 Leafs delivered in 2013 to 40,000 or more, perhaps as many as 50,000. Nissan CEO, Carlos Ghosn, told CNBC recently that last year’s surge from 9,800 to 22,600 sales was just the start.
As electric vehicle production ramps up to match popularity in key markets, there are three market developments making converting the family vehicle to an EV more realistic for consumers. 1) EV Cost compared to gas models 2) EV charging options at home and in public, 3) Installing solar power to avoid impact on monthly electricity bill.
Electric vehicle costs have come down
With the major auto manufacturers introducing new EV models, economies of scale and competition are driving the prices down. Although their popularity is steadily growing, electric cars still carry a price premium over comparable gas-burning models. None-the-less, in key auto markets like California and New York, demand for EV’s is also on the upswing. EV owners also need to factor in the monthly savings from driving all electric and not buying gas. This demand and economics have manufacturers like Nissan predicting tremendous, triple digit sales growth for the Nissan Leaf Electric Vehicle in 2014.
Increased EV charging infrastructure
One area that presents a challenge is the EV charging infrastructure. As all electric vehicles increase, there are real challenges with battery range and access to charging stations. In fact, a recent article out of the California Silicon Valley highlights that lack of charging stations are leading to “EV driver freak outs over range anxiety” and a new phenomenal charge rage.
However there are encouraging developments like the West Coast Climate Pact signed by Governors of California, Oregon, Washington and British Columbia in the fall of 2013. This pact includes a commitment to push the adoption of zero-emission vehicles, particularly electric cars. It also outlines a commitment to have electric vehicles make up 10 percent of fleet purchases for public agencies and private fleets by 2016. The adoption of more EV fleet vehicles and increased consumer demand should spur investment in the electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
For the average consumer, electric vehicles are gaining popularity and there is also the opportunity to install quick charging stations in the home. PetersenDean Roofing and Solar see the opportunity for solar customers to simply install an EV quick charging station simultaneously with the installation of solar panels. PetersenDean launched the Fuel for Life Campaign in September of 2013, which combines the company’s signature PowerSaver Solar Packages plus and EV quick charging station in one simple installation.
Controlling home EV charging costs
Consumers considering EV also think about charging costs. General research shows charging an electric vehicle can increase home electricity usage by 35-50 percent each month, which could lead to significant increases in electricity bills. Of course compared to buying gasoline to commute the equivalent distance, EV owners will see substantial monthly savings. Consumers should check with their utility about special EV electricity rate plans. Another option is to consider solar power to offset the electricity for the car, and probably for the house as well.
PetersenDean’s Fuel For Life solar packages offer EV owners solar power to generate electricity bundled with a quick charging station. Chargingan electric vehicle with solar, basically avoids rising electricity rates, and the quick charging station charges the battery in 3-4 hours. The bundled package price includes equipment, permitting and installation and offers the ability to convert a home to solar power and charge an Electric Vehicle quickly and at a fixed rate. More information is available at www.fuelforlife.org.
Whether you have an EV currently or are considering a purchase, it is a good time to consider charging stations and possibly solar power. Read here for a guide to quick charging basics. Solar power provides a definite savings for most California home owners with or without an electric vehicle, but can have a major impact on homes charging EVs. PetersenDean is happy to provide EV owners, or homeowners considering and electric vehicle, a free home solar assessment designed to offset the kWh from the house and the EV.