PlugShare and Sungevity Offer Free Charging Stations for Bay Area Customers

By · September 09, 2015

Home Solar and an Electric Car

Electric vehicle drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area now have a new reason to go solar. PlugShare and Sungevity teamed up to offer a free Level 2 residential charging station to all rooftop solar panel customers who drive an EV. Eligible customers will receive a 7.2-kW GE WattStation charging station—and free installation—when they opt to add rooftop solar to their homes. The deal yields an average savings up to $2,100. Details about the program are available at the PlugShare website.

The task of buying and installing an EV charging station and installation is often an afterthought for many first-time EV buyers. As indicated by an April 2015 report from the Department of Energy’s EV Project, these expenses can wildly vary across different regions of the United States, with costs during the early period of EV introduction running at $1,459 on average in the San Francisco Bay Area. In most cases, installation costs from a trusted electrician these days are considerably less—however, the free offer from PlugShare and Sungevity entirely eliminates these concerns.

Tesla drivers can opt for free installation of a 240V NEMA 14-50 outlet and 50A breaker to get the most out of their 10 kW Tesla Mobile Connector.

Though the deal is initially limited to Bay Area homeowners, the two companies said they plan to roll it out to other markets. Sungevity is a leading solar energy provider, and currently has operations in 14 states and the District of Columbia. PlugShare is the most popular and highly rated charging station locator app, displaying more than 30,000 charging sites to more than 120,000 plug-in vehicle drivers across North America.

EVs and Solar: Perfect for Each Other

Electric vehicles and solar energy are a natural pairing. (See our guide to combining solar panels with an electric car.) Both are clean technologies with relatively high upfront costs that are offset by lower energy costs in the long run. Both hold strong appeal with environmentalists and technology lovers.

Moreover, the best time to work on one home electrical project is when you’re working on another one. The two technologies, EV charging and home solar, can essentially be viewed as a single system. The installation can be coordinated in a single project, eliminating the uncertainty that many new EV drivers face. Any upgrades to panels, or other special considerations, can be completed in unison, and therefore in a more cost-effective and streamlined manner.

According to analysis of more than 6,000 drivers by PlugInsights Research, 19 percent of all drivers of electric cars or plug-in hybrids who bought or leased their vehicles in 2014 or earlier, also had home PV solar installations. That's a significant correlation, considering that less than 1 percent of Americans have home solar.

EVs are cleaner than conventional vehicles—regardless of the source of energy. But solar power offers the capability to drive on 100 percent emissions-free power.

In Colorado, three counties have banded together to encourage tandem solar and EV use. Adams, Denver and Bolder counties offer discounts of up to 15 percent on solar installation as well as additional rebates for the Nissan LEAF.

Sungevity offers free solar installation estimates over the phone without the need to schedule an appointment for an onsite evaluation. Considering the free, convenient process for getting a quote, homeowners who drive or are considering driving a plug-in vehicle have nothing to lose from exploring the options.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  2. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  3. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.