The first domestic solar-powered car as a result of the unique British Gas and Nissan partnership hits Britain’s roads today.
The first 100% electric Nissan LEAF, owned by radio DJ Mark Goodier, is running on solar energy after British Gas installed solar panels on his home.
The 12 panels generate enough solar energy to power the car with renewable energy saving EV “evangelist” Goodier, the scheme's first customer, petrol costs and cutting his carbon footprint.
And thanks to the feed-in tariff, a scheme which pays the owners of solar panels for all the renewable electricity they generate, customers will receive around £1,200 a year. The payments are tax free, index-linked and guaranteed for 25 years.
As well as installing solar panels for its customers, British Gas is also the preferred supplier of vehicle charging points for the Nissan LEAF. The deal means that British Gas will supply and install electric car charge points in homes and businesses across the country. Charge points will be installed in domestic garages and driveways, as well as office car parks.
Experts predict that by 2020, electric vehicles could account for approximately ten percent of all cars sold in the UK. This equates to roughly 1.2 million UK households owning an electric vehicle.
With 700,000 homes expected to have solar panels by 2020, there is major potential for those households with both solar panels, electric vehicles and charging points to run their cars for free. The average annual earnings of up to £900 generated by a standard-sized domestic solar panel installation can offset the average annual running costs of a Nissan LEAF.
Mark Goodier said: “I’ve been an electric car evangelist for ten years, but this is the start of something really big – running my car by putting solar panels on my roof is just brilliant.
“One eight hour charge gives me over 100 miles range, and every time I plug in on my driveway, I know that it’s not costing me or the environment anything, as the energy generated by the solar panels covers the cost of the electricity it uses.”
Dean Keeling, Managing Director of British Gas Smart Homes said: “Today, Britons can drive an electric car powered by the sun. By using energy from solar panels on their own home, our customers can cut their petrol costs and their carbon footprint. The home of the future and car of the future is now here. A British Gas home with car charge points, solar panels and smart meters is now a reality.”
Customers will pay from £995 (including VAT) for the installation of a charging point by one of British Gas’ nationwide network of qualified installers, which cuts down the charging time by a third. The deal also includes three years of free British Gas Home Electrical Cover which gives the customer unlimited call outs for all home electrical repairs, including parts and labour.
Prices for solar panels start at around £9,000. As well as providing the home with free renewable electricity, the panels will also provide a yearly income thanks to the Feed-in Tariff.