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The connection between solar power systems and electric vehicles has been explored in the YellowLite blog in the past. Solar energy is the cleanest way to power an electric vehicle’s battery, and in actuality the only way to make this form of transportation “zero emissions” from start to finish.

In fact, the solar power and electric vehicle industries have another major point in common: They both began marketing products to the public at high prices. Early adopters who wanted to cover homes in solar panels or drive the original Tesla roadster found themselves saddled with huge bills. 

Today’s price points are far less expensive, making both electric cars and solar energy available to many Americans. Here is a look at the electric car market, including the models with significant ranges, plus how much the prices have dropped in recent years.

Electric Car Pricing and Rebates

Pricey electric cars like the Tesla Model S and BMW i3 may get most of the headlines, but there are many more options on the market for buyers on a stricter budget. Here is a list of electric vehicle prices for four models in different classes. Only vehicles with significant electric-only range (greater than 70 miles) are included. Pricing is listed before and after the $7,500 federal tax incentive.

Ford Focus Electric. Ford’s electric car covers as many as 74 miles on a single charge (105 MPGe), which makes the Focus Electric the most efficient compact car in America, according to Fueleconomy.gov.
After rebate: $28,670 (MSRP: $35,170). Lease: $175/month.

Chevy Spark EV. GM’s best performing electric car has a range of 82 miles and 119 MPGe, which made it the most efficient car in the United States for 2014. Compared to the Focus, which looks like the standard model, the Spark EV is a mini car. At the moment, it is only available in a limited edition.
After rebate: $19,185 (MSRP: $26,685). Lease: $199/month.

Nissan Leaf. The Nissan Leaf is one of then trail blazers in the electric vehicle industry, but it still ranks among the best in terms of driving range and value. A Leaf can cover 84 miles with an economy of 114 MPGe, making it the most efficient midsize car in America.
After rebate: $21,480 (MSRP: $28,980). Lease: $199/month.

Mercedes Benz B-Class Electric Drive. Some people cannot drive a car unless it is a Mercedes. For that demographic, the luxury automaker released its first all-electric car. With 251 lb-ft of torque and 85 miles of electric range, it will shock some consumers how affordable it is.
After rebate: $33,950 (MSRP: $41,450). Lease: N/A.

All prices listed are from the manufacturers. The federal rebates quoted are widely available, as are additional incentives depending on your area.

Solar Power Already Charging Electric Vehicles 

Elon Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Motors, also happens to be chairman of a major solar energy company. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the innovative Tesla Supercharger network is partially powered by solar energy. As states prepare to meet new carbon emissions standards by including electric vehicles in the equation, solar charging stations will likely become widespread.

For citizens in Ohio and neighboring states, electric vehicles have already hit affordable price points. Exploring solar energy and cleaner forms of transportation is no longer a rich man’s game. 

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