summers2-evs

Rudy Summers poses in front of the family’s three solar-charged EVs, a Chevy Volt, a BMW ActiveE, and a Toyota RAV4 EV. You can see the solar system that powers the EVs on the garage roof. [Photo Courtesy of Colin Summers]

An interesting article surfaced this week in PV.Tech, a web site devoted to covering the solar industry. In it, PV.Tech picks up on research conducted by Pike Research last fall that illustrates what SolarChargedDriving.Com, and, yes, others, have been saying for awhile: There’s a lot of potential for synergy between electric vehicle producers and the solar industry.

The article, published under the headline, ‘Report: Solar industry should team up with electric vehicle companies’, is worth quoting at length:

“Solar and electric vehicle companies should join forces to boost their chances of market penetration, a report recommends.

Solar and Electric Vehicle Cross-Marketing Strategies from Navigant research found that plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) owners prefer clean renewable power such as solar.

‘These customers are prime targets for residential solar installers, as many PEV owners own homes that can accommodate a sufficiently sizable solar array to generate all of the power that their vehicles would consume on an annual basis.

‘Historically, the solar energy industry and the automobile industry have operated in separate markets. The convergence of the two technologies represents significant opportunities for players in both spaces – although solar companies may have more to gain.’ ”

For example, in the United States alone, approximately 250,000 homes are equipped with photovoltaic systems (PV). The PEV market sold approximately 52,000 plug-in cars in the United States in 2012, and Navigant Research forecasts that by 2017 there will be 1 million PEVs on U.S. roads.

According to Navigant Research’s 2012 Energy & Environment Consumer Survey, 85 percent of consumers interested in purchasing an electric vehicle (EV) have favorable or very favorable views toward solar energy.

John Gartner, Navigant analyst and author of the report, told PV Tech: ‘There are a lot of synergies and commonalities for the consumers who would be interested in buying solar with electric vehicles and vice versa.

Both industries have the potential if they choose to work together to increase their profile and likelihood that consumers of solar would be interested in an EV, EV marketers could give a pitch towards solar when an EV purchase is being considered is really a good time to do that.’ ”

In fact, as SolarChargedDriving.Com has reported in the past, there are already multiple synergies between EV makers and solar companies, including partnerships between Nissan and SunPower, Ford and SunPower, SolarCity and Tesla and Mitsubishi, and GM and Sunlogics.

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