Quantcast
Business

Are You Ready to Power Your Car With the Sun?

Even Eloise, who is four and three quarters years old, knows that certain things just go well together. Like peanut butter and jelly. Or solar power and electric vehicles (EV). In this newly released video, she tells us why.

The good news—the great news—is that the ability to power our cars by the energy of the sun is becoming increasingly easy and affordable. A partnership called Drive Green For Life formed among the solar installer SunPower, Ford Motor Company and the Sierra Club makes it easier for folks to drive on sunshine.

Here’s how it works: you visit your local Ford dealership and test-drive the plug-in hybrids C-Max Energi and Fusion or the full battery electric Focus—all great plug-in cars to consider. If you do purchase or lease a Ford EV, you can save in energy costs and slash even more carbon emissions by using a solar system to charge your vehicle and your home. If this sounds appealing to you, then contact SunPower to sign up for a free solar evaluation. If you do end up purchasing or leasing a solar system, then you'll get a $750 rebate and the Sierra Club will get a $500 donation from SunPower.

It's a five-way win for the consumer, SunPower, Ford, Sierra Club and our planet.

The partnership isn’t limited to new purchases. If you already happen to drive a Ford EV, then you can go right to contacting SunPower for a solar evaluation.

As the Sierra Club continues to build public support for 100 percent clean energy with our new #ReadyFor100 and Electric Vehicles campaigns, the Drive Green for Life partnership offers our supporters an incentive to go 100 percent clean themselves by powering their EVs with solar, all while also supporting our critical work urging cities, governments, businesses and local communities to commit to renewable power.

December 2015’s record-breaking EV sales (after a strong November showing, too) demonstrate that a clean transportation future is well on its way and 2016 could be a big year for EVs and their happy drivers. With more than a half a million U.S. households with rooftop solar, it’s not surprising that many of these people see the benefits of driving electric. When the Center for Sustainable Energy interviewed plug-in car drivers in California, they found that 32 percent of them had rooftop solar on their homes. That’s huge! But, with EV sales making up less than one percent of total U.S. auto sales, we have a long ways to go.

Sierra Club chief of staff, Jesse Simons charging his car with solar power. Photo credit: Sierra Club

Fortunately, there are a lot of EVs on the market at different price points and federal and some state tax credits and rebates—coupled with lower fueling costs—make EVs a smart financial choice. Additionally, solar power is getting notably cheaper. If you lease a solar system, you can start reducing your energy bills right away. If you purchase solar, the pack-back period or the period of time it takes to make back the money spent on solar through electricity savings, is now faster than ever. In fact, from early 2011 to early 2014, the average price of household solar dropped 50 percent. Even with today’s low gas prices, the Department of Energy notes it’s much cheaper to power your car on electricity than gasoline.

"As an electric vehicle owner with solar panels on my home, I can personally attest to the satisfaction that comes from being able to power our family's car and home electricity needs at once," Sunwoo Kahng, a Sierra Club supporter who lives in Newton, Massachusetts told me. “It feels great to simultaneously slash our carbon emissions and energy costs.”

Solar drops the carbon footprint—or carbon skid marks—from your EV to nearly nil. In my region of New England, if you drive a plug-in Ford Focus and have conventional electricity, you're reducing your carbon emissions by about 65 percent compared to driving a Honda Civic. (See the Sierra Club's online EV Guide where you can calculate this for your own state and with any plug-in car in mind). But with solar, those emissions decrease astronomically.

There are a lot of wonderful EV options available, but Ford electric cars and SunPower solar systems are terrific examples of products that will help people live greener while saving some green. In signing up for the program, people will also support the Sierra Club's work to move beyond fossil fuels while expanding and accelerating our development of clean, renewable energy.

Even preschoolers like Eloise know that EVs and sunshine are a match made in heaven. Drive Green For Life makes moving toward 100 percent clean energy for our electricity and our transportation simpler than you think. To learn more about how you can drive on sunshine, check out more information on Drive Green For Life here.

Follow Gina Coplon-Newfield on Twitter.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE 

How Money in Politics Is Killing Rooftop Solar in Nevada

Linking Investors to Renewable Energy Opportunities in Emerging Markets Is Key to COP21 Success

Kelly Slater: World’s ‘Best Man-Made Wave’ Is Powered 100% by the Sun

World’s Largest Offshore Wind Farm Will Power More Than 1 Million Homes

Show Comments ()
Sponsored
Popular
Robert Vessels

Fly Fishing in Yellowstone: How One Veteran Found a New Life in the Outdoors

By Lindsey Robinson

Evan Bogart never wanted to sleep in a tent again. Between 2004-2011, he'd served in the U.S. Army as an infantryman and spent three long combat deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq. He'd spent a good portion of his years in service living in a tent in hot and hazardous deserts. He'd had enough of the outdoors; he wanted to be in places with air conditioning, electricity and no reminders of the war-torn lands he had experienced.

Evan separated in 2011 as an E6 Squad Leader, with an honorable discharge and two Purple Hearts. But his own heart was heavy and troubled. He'd become disillusioned with the U.S. military and its goals in the Middle East. The violence and destruction he'd witnessed left him feeling both angry and guilty. He distinctly remembers one moment in Iraq: "An old woman told me I was a bad man, and I realized I agreed with her."

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Make A Change World

How Two Brothers Convinced the Indonesian Government to Clean Up the World's Most Polluted River

By Gary Bencheghib and Sam Bencheghib

On August 14, we set out to kayak down the world's most polluted river, the Citarum River located in Indonesia, to document and raise awareness about the highly toxic chemicals in its waters and the masses of plastics floating on its surface.

We paddled a total of 68km in two weeks on two plastic bottle kayaks from the village of Majalaya, located just south of Bandung to Pantai Bahagia, the river mouth at the Java Sea. Each kayak was made of 300 plastic bottles to demonstrate that trash can have a second life.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular

General Motors to Run Ohio, Indiana Factories With 100% Wind P​ower

By Greg Alvarez

Last week I predicted it wouldn't be long before we had more news on Fortune 500 wind power purchases. Well, a whole seven days passed before there were new deals to report.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
South Carolina United Turtle Enthusiasts (S.C.U.T.E) unearthed three baby loggerheads after a nest inventory at Pawleys Island beach. Lorraine Chow

Sea Turtle Population Rebounding But Many Threats Remain

A new study published in Science Advances has found that most global sea turtles populations are recovering after historical declines.

The results from the analysis suggest that conservation programs actually work, and why we must defend the Endangered Species Act (ESA) that protects vulnerable plants and animals, and is currently under attack by political and business interests.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
www.youtube.com

Baby Rhino Brings New Hope to India’s Manas National Park

A baby rhino spotted alongside its mother in Manas National Park, located in the northeastern Indian state of Assam, is an encouraging new sign that the rhino population in the protected area is on the upswing. The mother, named Jamuna, was rescued as a calf from Kaziranga National Park, located about 200 miles east of Manas and raised at the Center for Wildlife Rehabilitation and Conservation, a facility that cares for injured or orphaned wild animals run by Wildlife Trust of India/International Fund for Animal Welfare and the Assam Forest Department. She was moved to the Manas in 2008 as part of the country's rhino conservation efforts.

The calf is her second since 2013—a positive indication that despite concerns due to poaching of mature males, rhinos in Manas are reproducing.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Cedar Mesa Valley of the Gods in the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. Bob Wick, BLM

Navajo Nation Readies Legal Action if Trump Shrinks Bears Ears National Monument

Interior Sec. Ryan Zinke's recommendation to reduce the size of the Bears Ears National Monument in Utah could spark a legal battle between the Navajo Nation and the Trump administration.

"We are prepared to challenge immediately whatever official action is taken to modify the monument or restructure any aspect of that, such as the Bears Ears Commission," Ethel Branch, Navajo Nation attorney general, told Reuters.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Popular
Jilson Tiu / Greenpeace

Nestlé, Unilever, P&G Among Worst Offenders for Plastic Pollution in Philippines Beach Audit

A week-long beach clean up and audit at Freedom Island in Manila Bay has exposed the companies most responsible for plastic pollution in the critical wetland habitat and Ramsar site—one of the worst locations for plastic pollution in the Philippines.

The Greenpeace Philippines and #breakfreefromplastic movement audit, the first of its kind in the country, revealed that Nestlé, Unilever and Indonesian company PT Torabika Mayora are the top three contributors of plastic waste discovered in the area, contributing to the 1.88 million metric tonnes of mismanaged plastic waste in the Philippines per year.

Keep reading... Show less
GMO
www.youtube.com

Arkansas Plant Board Backs Dicamba Ban Next Summer in Blow to Monsanto

The Arkansas Plant Board has approved new regulations that prohibit the use of dicamba from April 16 through Oct. 31, 2018 after receiving nearly 1,000 complaints of pesticide misuse in the state.

Arkansas, which temporarily banned the highly volatile weedkiller in July, could now face legal action from Monsanto, the developers of dicamba-resistant soybeans or cotton and the corresponding pesticide, aka the Xtend crop system.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

Get EcoWatch in your inbox