The Best Way to Go Green
If you are concerned about climate change, what is the is the best way to go green on a personal level? Two of the most popular options are installing a Solar Power system or purchasing an Electric Vehicle. Does it matter which one you choose to do first? The real question: How do you maximize the positive impact of your choice on the environment and get the best bang for the buck.
We believe the best place to start would be a PV Solar Power System for your home. This choice gives you the biggest bang for your buck and is also more beneficial for the environment because there is no associated negative environmental impact as explained below. With available incentives and financing options, there is often no front-end investment, and your monthly cash flow remains constant. And once the loan is paid off, you own your power system, and your monthly cash outlay is drastically reduced.
The next step in your personal strategy would be to upgrade to an Electric Vehicle (EV). Since you have already provided a green source to charge your EV, you eliminate the negative environmental impact there would be if you used the grid to charge your EV. (Most local utility grids get 80-90% of their power from fossil fuel sources.)
Solar Power Systems - A Good Place to Start
It you choose to finance, the initial investment for a Solar Power System is quite modest. For those who qualify, it may be zero down. And under the recently passed Inflation Reduction Act, a 30% tax credit is available. When the system is financed, your monthly cost is typically comparable to what you were previously paying to the local utility, so your monthly cash flow remains the same. And once the loan is paid off, you own your power system, and your monthly cash outlay is drastically reduced.
Solar Power Systems usually come with a 25-year warranty. Since Solar Panels have no moving parts, they can last up to 40-50 years. They require little to no maintenance cost.
By adding just 2Kw to your Solar Power System capacity, your system can be sufficient to also charge your EV when you choose to take that step. There is no associated environmental impact like there would be if you used the grid to charge your EV. (Most local utility grids get 80-90% of their power from fossil fuel sources.)
Now that you have your personal power converted to Solar, its time to consider an Electric Vehicle (EV). While there is a significant initial investment, the lifetime economics of owning an EV can be quite favorable, and the environment impact is quite impressive, especially since you have made provision to charge your EV batteries using your own Solar Power System. Overall, EV cost and performance are continuously making substantial gains, making them an increasingly viable alternative beyond pure environmental considerations.
· Prices are becoming increasingly competitive with Internal Combustions Engine (ICE) cars – According to Kelly Blue Book, the average purchase price for a new car in the United States is $47,077, while the average price of an EV is close to $60,000 – a difference of about $13,000. Tax credits under the Inflation Reduction Act can close this gap (check with your tax adviser).
· Recharging your EV is much cheaper than Refueling an ICE - The average annual distance driven in the US is 13,500 miles. Based on the average fuel efficiency for a ICE car of 25.4 MPG, it would cost $2,255 in fuel to drive one for a year. Fuel costs this high are a major financial burden to the American family. Driving a Model S the same 13,500 mile distance would take 33.33 charges, for a total cost of $455 in power. That’s a $1,800 saving in running costs every year. This savings would be even greater if you are charging your EV with a home Solar Power System. This means you can recoup the initial investment differential in less than four years.
· EVs have significantly lower maintenance cost. Maintenance costs are 40% lower for EVs than ICE powered vehicles. This is because electric cars have fewer moving parts - meaning fewer potential points of failure - and are exempt from routine oil changes.
· Many EVs have superior performance - electric vehicles accelerate much faster than gas cars. A Tesla Model 3 has a 0-60 mph time of 3.1 seconds. By comparison, a Chevrolet Camaro RS 3LT 1LE is 5.6 seconds.
In summary, Electric vehicles are becoming much more affordable. Electric vehicles are rivaling the range of gas vehicles. EVs can save you over $1,800 per year in fuel. Electric vehicles are easier and much cheaper to maintain. In terms of acceleration, EVs leave ICE cars in the dust.
Once you have outfitted your home with a Solar Power System, an Electric Vehicle is the next logical move to Go Green.
Your Power, Your Choice
Joining the fight against climate change is beneficial for the environment. You have the power to choose that course of action that makes the most sense for your personal situation. As demonstrated in the foregoing article, a Solar Power System for your home or business is often the best first choice. It has a significantly lower initial investment, uses existing cash flow, takes advantage of 30% government tax credit, is convenient, and has no associated negative environmental impact. Then, upgrading to an EV is the next logical step in protecting our environment. And you can use your PV system to charge your EV to avoid the fossil fuel emissions generated by your utility.
SoL Energy of Carbondale is your one stop provider that can manage and install your project from design and build to operation. SoL Energy has been installing custom, solar systems and building trusted relationships with home and business owners in the Roaring Fork Valley since 2003. Installing a solar energy system on your home is a good decision for your family, your wallet, and the environment; and SoL Energy will make sure you get the system you need supported by the expertise you expect and the customer service you deserve.