OK, so this isn't exactly a "man-bites-dog" type of story, but it's still worth noting that electric vehicle buyers enjoy green energy. Turns out, folks are more likely to buy a plug-in vehicle if they know the electricity that will power the car, or at least some of it, will come from a renewable energy source.

That's the conclusion of a study produced by Environmental Research Letters (ERL), which found that plug-in vehicle demand in regions with a "green electricity" option is a stunning 23 percent higher than in areas without a clean-energy option. Researchers from Canada's Simon Fraser University and UC Davis polled prospective electric-vehicle and plug-in-hybrid buyers and found that buyer interest jumped where there was a chance to double-down on their green cred if they could use something like, say, solar power. For those with a little time on their hands, here's the report.

Automakers like Tesla Motors, with its solar-powered Superchargers, and BMW have already shown they understand the connection between green energy and selling EVs. The Germany-based company is getting ready to start selling its first mass-produced plug-in vehicles under its new i sub-brand – the i3 is due towards the end of the year – and last year struck a deal with Real Goods Solar to offer special deals to ActiveE drivers who wanted to charge green.


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  • 13 Comments
      EZEE
      • 6 Months Ago
      No! I only want to charge my electric car when the electricity is made from the generated from gay baby unborn yoga instructing blind African American female endangered California right whales! And no other electricity! (I mean effing duh! Of course wind, solar, or some other electricity would be cool! If I did get one I would either have a solar array, or windmill - whichever is better - if people think enough to buy an EV, they will also look at where the 'E' is coming from, unless purely for status).
        Spec
        • 6 Months Ago
        @EZEE
        Yeah, any insistence on green electricity is a bad thing. EVs on fossil fuels are still greener but even if you ignore that EVs on fossil fuels are still preferable for many other reasons . . . the electricity is 100% domestic, no local emissions, quiet, etc.
        Spec
        • 6 Months Ago
        @EZEE
        Oh . . . and although I'm proud the PV system I'm building will generate emissions free electricity, a big reason I'm building it is BECAUSE IT IS CHEAP. I'll pay a few thousand now that will pay for 25+ years of electricity that will power my home and car.
      • 6 Months Ago
      Solar and EV's are inevitable. The only question is, sooner or later? In the US, probably later because of the power of the fossil fuel industries. Probably sooner in Europe and Asia.
      Rotation
      • 6 Months Ago
      Tesla's superchargers aren't really solar powered. Few stations even have any panels and the amount of energy from those panels on the ones that have them likely doesn't cover the supercharger energy use. Some have some solar energy attached, which is great. But they don't make enough energy to be called solar powered.
        Spec
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Rotation
        Do you have any evidence to back that up? Most super-chargers probably sit there for days or weeks going unused because they are only really used when someone takes a long trip a needs a charge on the road. So I suspect all the net energy collected by the solar panels for the days or weeks between charge is often more than enough to cover the charges. It depends on the size of the solar system, where it is, and how often the charger is used. Here . . . click on some solar systems and see how much power they generate: https://enlighten.enphaseenergy.com/public_systems
      Naturenut99
      • 6 Months Ago
      This is over analysis. The same people who support EV's are the same that support green energy. Period. It's not some magical discovery, where by some coincidence they end up with green energy and then wake up and say I now want an EV. They understand the benefits of both and how both fit together.
      David Murray
      • 6 Months Ago
      This is most likely due to ignorance on the part of the buyer. But I suspect the entire study is flawed because we've seen time and again in polls of EV drivers that only a small minority are buying to be green in the first place.
      Ryan
      • 6 Months Ago
      Yet here in Ohio, I never knew that there was a big wind farm an hour north of me. I did know about the big solar farm, but I bet that many others don't know about it. And if you buy a plug-in car, you don't need to buy a solar panel system at the same time. Even if you buy it three years later after you saved up some money again, that would be fine. People need to have a long term plan for going green.
      Vlad
      • 6 Months Ago
      Many utilities will sell you green electricity, and the difference in price is not that big. Dominion charges 2 more cents. You won't get electrons flowing from a wind farm or a biomass plant into your battery, but your money will still make them financially viable.
      Spec
      • 6 Months Ago
      People need to realize that even when "dirty" energy is used to create electricity for EVs, the EVs are cleaner. Why? -Because industrial power plants are much more efficient than individual consumer gas engines -It is much easier to put good emission control system on a single power plant than millions of gas cars. -The grid is around 96% efficient -Electric motors are VERY efficient Even when 100% coal is used to generate power for an EV, the EV is better. But that never happens.
        Marcopolo
        • 6 Months Ago
        @Spec
        @ Spec In principle I agree with your reasoning, however people should be aware of the growing concern over substandard, even inefficient and defective solar components exported from the PRC. That's why it's important for consumers to check very carefully into the quality and reputation of solar manufacturers, as 5 or ten years down the track, when the solar installation isn't functioning properly, and the installer has long since disappeared, trying to get a replacement from the Wuhan based factory in the Peoples Republic of China, may prove difficult.
      bluepongo1
      • 6 Months Ago
      Captain Obvious to the rescue!!!!
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