• Aug 10th 2011 at 4:07PM
  • 7
Solar charging at the Atascadero Rabobank – Click above for high-res image gallery

More Americans will now have the option to "drive on sunshine" by juicing up their plug-in vehicles with SolarCity's newly released residential solar-powered charging systems.

SolarCity has partnered with ClipperCreek to provide sun-powered charging stations to residents across the U.S. SolarCity says pricing for home installation of a ClipperCreek Level II charging station starts at $1,500. However, that low, low price does not include the cost of leasing one of SolarCity's arrays, which varies significantly depending on the solar system's output.

SolarCity claims that charging an electric vehicle with electricity generated by one of its solar systems is up to 77 percent less expensive than fueling a vehicle with gasoline. For example, a San Francisco Bay Area resident pays $3.65 per gallon gas and forks over $230 a month to fuel a conventional vehicle. That same resident would pay $107 to power an equivalent-size electric vehicle with grid electricity or just $54 by leasing a solar system from SolarCity. Of course, that resident would have to add back in the cost of leasing SolarCity's system, but if the difference really is $180 a month, that can add up right quick.
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SolarCity to Make Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Available Across its Service Territory

Homeowners and businesses can install electric vehicle charging for as little as $1,500 with solar


SAN MATEO and AUBURN, Calif., July 27, 2011-Now more Americans than ever will be able to "drive on sunshine", by charging their electric cars with solar power, and save up to 77 percent on fuel costs. SolarCity has partnered with industry pioneer ClipperCreek to provide electric vehicle (EV) chargers compatible with all new EVs. SolarCity will initially install ClipperCreek EV chargers through its 24 operations centers nationwide, making it the largest single provider of EV, solar and energy efficiency services in the U.S.

"SolarCity's mission has always been to help homeowners and businesses adopt clean power while saving on energy costs," said Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity. "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."

Pricing for home or business installation of a ClipperCreek 240-volt Level II EV charger, including the charger, starts at $1,500. Charging at Level II is roughly five times faster than using a 120-volt wall outlet. For its solar and energy-efficiency customers, as well as those who wish to install EV chargers only, SolarCity can prepare a home or business to be EV ready even before delivery of an electric car.

Powering an EV with electricity generated from a home solar system can be 77 percent less expensive than powering a car with gas. An average San Francisco Bay Area resident paying the national average of $3.65 per gallon gas spends about $230 per month to fuel her gas-powered car. She'd pay $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.

ClipperCreek pioneered EV charger safety features in the mid-1990s that have become the industry standard. Its UL-listed chargers are designed for use with the Chevy Volt, Ford Transit Connect, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster and all SAE-compatible plug-In vehicles that are soon to be released from major and most new car companies.

"We are pleased to partner with SolarCity to help increase the number of homes and businesses that can run electric cars on renewable energy," said Dave Packard, President of ClipperCreek, Inc. "Roughly 40 percent of residential EV owners have solar and we expect these environmental and economic benefits to expand with the coming proliferation of electric cars and increasing use of solar power."

SolarCity installed the world's first solar-powered enhanced electric car charging corridor, between Los Angeles and San Francisco, in 2009. The EV chargers, located at Rabobank branches along highway 101, support the new industry-standard J1772 protocol common to newer EVs.

SolarCity is also the North American distributor of EV chargers for Toyota Tsusho, which represents a public EV infrastructure of thousands of chargers.

About ClipperCreek, Inc.

ClipperCreek brings product leadership to the electric vehicle charging infrastructure marketplace with reliable, safe and flexible, software-driven products that have been proven through 15 years of development and field experience. ClipperCreek leads the industry with over 3,000 chargers shipped since January of 2009 and is the exclusive provider of EVSE chargers for BMW's Mini-E and for Tesla Motors' Level 2 EVSE charging stations. ClipperCreek also provides chargers to power Mercedes, GM and Nissan vehicles.

About SolarCity

SolarCity® - a national leader in solar power design, financing, installation, monitoring and energy efficiency services-was founded with the mission to help millions of homeowners and businesses adopt clean power, protect themselves from rising gas and electricity costs and protect their environment from polluting power sources. The company's SolarLease® and Power Purchase Agreement (SolarPPA™) options can make it possible for homeowners and businesses to switch to clean, solar power for less money than they currently pay for electricity. SolarCity's 24 operations centers serve Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawai'i, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Washington, D.C. Additional information about the company is available on the Web at www.solarcity.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 7 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      Quite the sunny day for electric cars. Leasing of solar home systems seems like a great idea for those who cannot pay the upfront costs immediately. On the other hand Tesla Roadster isn't exactly a car for everyone. Tesla Model S is still on the luxury market, but it'll also get 7 people transported with tons (not in the measure of mass) of cargo space. Even driving licences won't allow most peoples transport but about 8-9 people depending on the corner of the world.
        Marco Polo
        • 4 Years Ago
        Sorry to disillusion you, but the eagerly awaited Tesla S, hasn't been released on the market yet, and to the best of my knowledge is fitted with five seat belts. (maybe I missed two) Er....sorry but, what does "Even driving licences won't allow most peoples transport but about 8-9 people depending on the corner of the world." mean?
          Marco Polo
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          @Solar Charged. It may come as a shock to you, but not everyone lives in California. I'm sorry if I'm unfamiliar with the various details of licencing requirements California, which is why I asked what you meant. I can't imagine why you would take offence. The relevance to the article still leaves me a little baffled? You are quite correct, the design for the Tesla S, does allow for two children to be seated in the hatch area in some jurisdictions. (obviously California). The S prototype I was shown was an export version and was equipped with only 5 seat belts. (You would have to be a very small adult to fit in the back child seating)!
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          +1 to Mike (doesn't seem to register though) for correct answer. -1 to Marco Polo (did register this time) for not having a licence on automotive blog, oh and for not paying attention to detail. It is a 7 passenger sedan, albeit two seats are for smaller people. Or it's a 2 passenger sedan with other seats fold flat. Of course Model S is not yet on market, not sure if there's a person who knows the car and doesn't know that.
          Mike
          • 4 Years Ago
          @Marco Polo
          In California, you must have a Commercial Driver's License to drive a vehicle that carries more than 10 people. I think that's the kind of thing he's talking about.
      lne937s
      • 4 Years Ago
      So with Paul Scott working for both Nissan and SolarCity, I wonder if Santa Monica Nissan will offer a bundled deal... http://solarchargeddriving.com/news/people/441-evpv-activist-to-sell-leafs-solar.html
      Mike
      • 4 Years Ago
      A "Solar-Powered Charging System" is nonsense. The charging system and the solar system have nothing to do with each other. A person who is smart enough to buy an EV is also smart enough to realize that solar is a good idea too. In Northern California, PG&E will give you a special rate if you charge your EV on a separate meter. That can be as low as 5.3 cents per kWh if you charge off-peak. Installing that extra meter can be pretty expensive though. However, if you have solar, you can put everything on one meter and you can earn credit for what your solar system puts into the grid at Peak and Partial Peak rates, and charge your EV at off-peak rates. On the E-6 rate schedule that will earn you 26.5 cents/kWh Peak and 16.2 cents/kWh Part-Peak while you charge at 9.3 cents/kWh off-peak. If you don't have solar and you are over 200% of Baseline, your charging would cost 31.2 cents/kWh. Anyway, unless your solar system is off the grid, a solar charger is a misnomer because you will surely be charging at a higher current than what the solar provides, not to mention likely at a completely different time of day.