Electric cars and solar power? A natural combination

Roof-mounted solar panels

Nissan and SunPower Corp. to work together

There are many reasons to own a Nissan LEAF. Contributing to a cleaner environment is one of them. To power a LEAF (or any other electric vehicle (EV)) down the road, one needs electricity and in almost one-half of the country, that power still comes from coal-fired plants. Because of this, many say that electric cars are not really reducing emissions, that they are just placing those emissions elsewhere. Perhaps we will address that in another article, but for now, we are going to focus on how one can reduce even those emissions to nil in the operation of your LEAF.

Nissan North America recently announced a collaboration with SunPower Corporation. This partnership is designed to help LEAF owners understand how a residential solar power system can lower their cost of operation while reducing emissions at the generation level. SunPower’s President and CEO, Tom Werner, owns a LEAF and says “I power my own 100 percent electric Nissan LEAF with a SunPower system, eliminating trips to the gas station while significantly reducing my electricity bill.”

This education is currently provided via a web page on the Nissan LEAF website that shows a short video about solar power with links to additional information after the video. Interestingly enough, Nissan is offering SunPower information on their website, but the SunPower website currently offers no information about the Nissan LEAF on their website marketing pages. The only mention that I found was on the corporate blog, which either not many people read, or at least no one has taken the time to leave any comments on. None-the-less, this is yet another way to possibly reduce the cost of ownership of your LEAF while improving the environment even more.

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2 Responses to Electric cars and solar power? A natural combination

  1. indyflick says:

    It’s not clear to me what the partnership between Nissan and SunPower actually is. It sounds like it’s more about PR and awareness than anything else. I bought a SunPower system a few months after I bought my LEAF. We are presently producing a bit more electricity than we use to charge the LEAF. The reason we went with SunPower is the efficiency of their panels and their aesthetics. They look really good. We also went with Enphase micro inverters. These micro inverters are mounted under the solar panels. So you have 240v AC coming down from the array. They just connect that wire right into your electrical panel on a 240v breaker and you’re done. Throw the breaker and watch the meter spin backward. With the micro inverters you don’t have a big ugly inverter hanging on the side of your home.

    • Ernie Hernandez (LEAFguy) says:

      indy – I should have been more clear in my article. It really is, at this stage, just a marketing partnership. Hopefully Nissan is getting money from SunPower, as SunPower is getting the greater visibility thus far.

      Thanks for the bit about the micro inverters. I was not aware that a possibility such as that existed. It always nice to know about options.

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