This is something I saw coming way back in the summer of 2009: Electric cars and solar would create a powerful and attractive synergy with one another. That is, those with solar would be more likely to buy electric cars, and those with electric cars more likely to buy solar.
New research by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative (SGCC) confirms I was right seven years ago. According to SGCC, roughly one-half of consumers who have home solar or an electric vehicle have both.
SGCC surveyed 1,571 respondents on four distinct technologies and services: residential solar, community solar, green power plans, and electric vehicles. Through oversampling of adopters of residential solar PV and EV technologies, the study supports in-depth analysis of the motivations, concerns and experience of consumers who have recently made decisions regarding their purchase and use.
“By taking a deep dive into the perceptions of early solar and EV users, we are able to provide energy leaders with timely and critical data to help them envision and execute a modernized grid – one that is best able to implement clean, renewable energy for the 21st century,” said Patty Durand, President and CEO of SGCC.
Key findings from Consumer Drive Technologies indicate –>
- Consistent with previous research, consumer demographics and segmentation had a much stronger statistical association with interest in solar PV and electric vehicles than other potential influences.
- Fewer than 22 percent of all consumers claim to have a fairly complete understanding of solar PV or electric cars which is a barrier to engagement.
- Consumers are moving from a sole-ownership of solar PV and electric vehiclesd towards power purchase agreements (PPAs), leases, and shared ownership arrangements including community solar.
- Roughly one-half of consumers who have solar or EV technology have both. Similarly, consumers who are interested in one of those technologies have interest in the other.
- Consumers perceive the value of being connected to the grid and are willing to pay for it.
- Utilities have a role as an information provider and market booster, but less so as a provider of ancillary services for solar PV and EVs.
The synergy between home solar and electric cars confirmed by this study is great to see. But, of course, the reality is that while many electric car owners have home solar, and EVs are driving growth in solar — exactly as I predicted in 2009 — comparatively few people have an electric car, or home solar.
It’s time to change that, don’t you think? And get more Americans racking up as many Sun Miles® as possible!