The Popularity of Electric Cars

You may be surprised to learn that the electric car is not a new invention. The lead-acid battery, invented by a French physicist in 1854 provided the first workable means for using electricity on a vehicle. Twenty-five years later, Thomas Parker, the inventor responsible for electrifying London’s Tube built the first practical electric vehicle using high-capacity rechargeable batteries.

The popularity of electric cars grew from the late 18th century to the early 20th century. As internal combustion engine technology advanced and less expensive vehicles began to be mass produced, the popularity of electric cars decreased.

The Renaissance of Electric Vehicles

The energy crisis of the 1970s and 1980s revived interest in battery powered cars. They could greatly reduce our dependence on foreign oil. However, the electric vehicle did not reach the mass marketing stage until early in the 21st century. Today, the electric car’s popularity continues to grow not only because of dependence of foreign oil. Concern about greenhouse gas emissions combined with advances in battery and power technology are increasing the popularity of electric cars.

All across the world, people are realizing the need to break the dependency on nonrenewable energy sources. Electric cars are part of the solution. Homeowners should also consider solar power to produce the required electricity for their home and electric vehicle. Adding to the advantages of both electric vehicles and solar powered homes are tax incentives offered by national and local governments. For example, in Massachusetts, a personal income tax credit of $1,000 is given for the installation of alternative energy systems as well as property tax exemption and sales tax exemption.  Coupled with income from SRECs and the 30% federal tax credit, you can see substantial savings from solar investment.

Advancing Electric Vehicle Technology

Since the 2010 debut of the Nissan Leaf, the number of charging stations has grown by a whopping 959 percent. John Neilsen, spokesman for AAA and Managing Director of Automotive Engineering and Repair reports that there have been major technological advances in electric vehicle production and the supporting infrastructure. He notes that time and education is needed for the general public to realize these advances and recognize the resources available for those who drive them.

Today’s EV typically has a range of 60-100 miles, more than enough for the average daily commute. Those who are concerned about recharging on longer trips may not realize that there are 5,800 charging stations available. The U.S. Department of Transportation, with funds provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act has aggressively expanded the EV charging infrastructure.

Buying an electric vehicle is a responsible choice as we reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and limit greenhouse emissions. But, isn’t the holy grail also powering the vehicle with solar energy made at your home?  Brightstar Solar can determine if solar is right for your home.  We are a Massachusetts-based installer that works with residential customers to navigate the installation process and maximize solar financing and incentive opportunities.  Please contact us for a free evaluation to determine if you can use solar energy to offset your current and future electricity demand in Massachusetts.