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Solar Power Reduces Carbon Footprint

It’s estimated that there are more than 1 billion cars on the world’s roads. Of these, around 3 million are pure battery-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, according to the International Energy Agency. It forecasts that there may be 300-400 million EVs on the road by 2040. The Tesla Model Y is now the best-selling model in the world.

Deloitte predicts that EV sales will to grow from 2.5 million in 2020 to more than 31 million by 2030, accounting for approximately 32 percent of new car sales. Global plugin vehicle registrations were up 72 percent in November 2021 compared to November 2020. There were 721,000 registrations (or 11.5 percent share of the overall auto market), establishing a new global record for plugin electric vehicle (PEV) sales. Annual sales are doubling and tripling in many regions of the world.

One of the factors driving the solar powered side of PEV power is the surging price of oil and gasoline. Consumers around the world are feeling the pricing pressure and looking for alternatives. Solar panels are the energy-efficient and responsible answer.

To maximize the impact of the movement, we must charge these cars with solar power. Plugging these cars into coal-fired power plants isn’t progress. To travel 100 miles, the average EV requires the same amount of electricity as an average American home uses each day to run appliances, computers, lights, heat and air conditioning.

Since approximately 80 percent of car charging happens at home, residential solar power is part of the solution.

In 2019, data showed that 30–40 percent of EV drivers in many countries have rooftop solar. The group with the highest share was Tesla drivers in the UK (52 percent of EV drivers had rooftop solar). It’s estimated that the Solar Panel for Electric Vehicle & Chargers Market will grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 35 percent over the next five years. Charging stations will account for a significant portion of that growth.

According to the Open Charge Map, there are more than 150,000 charging stations at 75,000 locations around the world. The countries with the highest number of charging stations are:

United States 21,000

Germany 12,000

Netherlands 8,000

United Kingdom 7,000

Italy 4,000

In May 2021, a total of 609 PEV charging stations and 1,736 charging outlets were added in the U.S. alone. California, Massachusetts, and New York added the most charging stations that month, with 170, 80 and 59, respectively. It’s unknown how many of these charging stations are solar-powered.

Following record growth in 2020 and 2021, Wood Mackenzie predicts residential solar installations will grow 18 percent in 2022, but supply chain complications could hamper that growth.

Tesla is one of the leaders in solar-powered PEVs. The company offers a portable solar charger. It also offers complete residential solar systems that can support your PEV. SunPower Corporation is teaming up with Wallbox to power PEVs. The leading providers in the Global Solar Panel for Electric Vehicles and Chargers Market includes:

  • ABB
  • Beam Global
  • Blink
  • Charge Point
  • ChargedEv
  • Electrify America
  • Empower Solar
  • EVGO
  • Hanergy the Film Power
  • Lightyear One
  • MyEnergi Ltd.
  • Off-Grid Installer Limited
  • Ovo Energy Ltd.
  • Power-Sonic
  • Siemens
  • Sono Motors GmbH
  • Toyota Motor Corporation
  • Vivint Solar
  • Webasto
  • Wiocor Ltd.

Meanwhile, the top automakers are developing electric cars and trucks. Oil companies are scrambling to become the new providers of spark that powers them. The infrastructure is being developed now. The political, social and technological barriers to progress are going up in smoke. Now, the key is to power our vehicles with the sun.

Greener Cities and climate action

Greener Cities is a division of Crossbow Communications. Greener Cities is a resource for sustainable and resilient cities and communities around the world.

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Author: Gary Chandler

Gary Chandler is a sustainability strategist, author and advocate. Follow him on Twitter @Gary_Chandler