We’re not sure if it’s officially a trend yet, but, at the very least, it’s a promising start: First, Ford and SunPower team up in the U.S. to offer a home solar + EV package. Now, Mitsubishi and SolarCity are doing the same in New Zealand.
The two companies have formed a key national partnership to offer each new i-MiEV owner a high-efficiency rooftop solar system that will provide the car with enough solar power to offset the energy used for charging.
Daniel Cook, Mitsubishi NZ’s Head of Sales and Marketing says the partnership is designed to give customers the right resources and technology to make powering the i-MiEV as convenient and efficient as possible.
Greener and cleaner “i-MiEV electric car owners are ahead of the curve, and want a greener and cleaner way to drive,” Cook says. “The energy the solar PV panels generate in a day exceeds what is needed to offset the energy used in the average daily commute, significantly reducing the total cost of ownership.”
Andrew Booth, CEO of SolarCity, says the aim is to give new i-MiEV owners the peace of mind that they never have to spend an additional dollar on energy for their car in its lifetime.
“The high-efficiency solar system we are using will be sized specifically for recharging the i-MiEV,” Booth explains. “It is engineered to provide enough power for about 1250 km of travel per month, and comes with a power output guarantee, allowing each customer to lock in their energy costs for the next 25 years.”
Dr. Hugh Byrd, School of Architecture and Planning, The University of Auckland agrees.
“The combined technology of solar PV panels and electric cars used in a city like Auckland not only makes the cars more energy efficient but also dramatically reduces carbon emissions, other pollutants that impact on air quality, and also noise levels, ” he notes.
How the i-MiEV + PV synergy works The 1.5 kilowatt SolarCity system is comprised of solar photovoltaic modules that produce an average of 1,900 kilowatt hours of electricity annually. The power generated is distributed to the grid using the New Zealand-made Enasolar Inverter.
For i-MiEV car owners, the complete solar system starts from NZ$9,999 installed and is designed to be placed on the home or garage roof. Included in the purchase is a residential monitoring system, which includes the ability to track the performance of the solar system on the web.
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