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Listen Up: Best EV for the Money

In spite of the fact that it’s neither fast nor furious, the Chevy Bolt is currently the most practical and economical Electric Vehicle. Hybrids (like the Volt and Prius) and pure EVs (like the Bolt and Teslas) have seen phenomenal growth over the past decade. Their popularity will continue to grow as battery costs decline and EV charging infrastructure improves.

The two most important considerations for EV drivers are up-front cost and range. At about $30k (with the $7,500 federal tax credit) and 238 miles of EV range, the Bolt excels on both of these dimensions. The only car that comes close is the upcoming Tesla Model 3 — which is expected to have similar pricing and range. Compared to the Tesla Model 3 the Bolt is more spacious and less luxurious (Car and Driver calls it “dweeby”). But the Bolt is shipping now in volume, and is very likely to become the best-selling EV in the U.S.

EVs are clearly not for everyone. Where gas is cheap or electricity is expensive, a number of ordinary economy cars are more economical than the Bolt. And with gas engines there is no “range anxiety” that concerns almost every EV driver. Nevertheless, the benefits of EVs with 200+ miles of range that can be fueled by clean and inexpensive solar and wind are compelling. There’s no doubt in my mind that our grandchildren will be zipping around in cars that look more like the bubble cars in Woody Allen’s “Sleeper” than the rolling living rooms that have been on the roads for the last 75 years. For more about the inexorable trend toward EVs, Listen Up to The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World.

About the Energy Show

As energy costs consume more and more of our hard-earned dollars, we as consumers really start to pay attention. But we don’t have to resign ourselves to $5/gallon gas prices, $200/month electric bills and $500 heating bills. There are literally hundreds of products, tricks and techniques that we can use to dramatically reduce these costs — very affordably.

The Energy Show on Renewable Energy World is a weekly 20-minute podcast that provides tips and advice to reduce your home and business energy consumption. Every week we’ll cover topics that will help cut your energy bill, explain new products and technologies in plain English, and cut through the hype so that you can make smart and cost-effective energy choices.

About Your Host

Barry Cinnamon is a long-time advocate of renewable energy and is a widely recognized solar power expert. In 2001 he founded Akeena Solar — which grew to become the largest national residential solar installer by the middle of the last decade with over 10,000 rooftop customers coast to coast. He partnered with Westinghouse to create Westinghouse Solar in 2010, and sold the company in 2012.

His pioneering work on reducing costs of rooftop solar power systems include Andalay, the first solar panel with integrated racking, grounding and wiring; the first UL listed AC solar panel; and the first fully “plug and play” AC solar panel. His current efforts are focused on reducing the soft costs for solar power systems, which cause system prices in the U.S. to be double those of Germany.

Although Barry may be known for his outspoken work in the solar industry, he has hands-on experience with a wide range of energy saving technologies.  He’s been doing residential energy audits since the punch card days, developed one of the first ground-source heat pumps in the early ‘80s, and always abides by the Laws of Thermodynamics.

This podcast was originally produced by Spice Solar and was presented here with permission.

Lead image credit: Patrick Breitenbach | Flickr