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WattPeople releases interactive web application for consumers to assess impact of SolarEV Bundle

WattPeople, a venture of THE FUNK HAUS, introduced a new interactive web application at SXSW Eco to help consumers assess the financial impact of the “SolarEV Bundle” concept, an integrated transaction in which consumers purchase a solar power system and an electric vehicle.

The average American household spends $111 per month on electricity, $220 per month on gas for the car, and costs are increasing every year. Electric vehicles are the future but pose a number of challenges including the impact such vehicles may have on the electrical grid, charging, range, and stimulating consumer interest to drive widespread adoption.

—WattPeople co-founder Rainer Boelzle

Typically, when consumers consider whether to purchase a solar power system for their home, the system is sized appropriately for the amount of power the consumer currently needs. With the growing electric vehicle market, the power generation needed for a consumer will increase and there is a compelling value proposition to fuel electric vehicles with solar power rather than purchasing electricity from the utility.

As a result, WattPeople takes a new approach into cost, power usage, and driving habits, which need to be accounted for in order to properly determine the appropriate size of the solar power system and ultimately the cost differential between the status quo and the SolarEV Bundle concept.

The WattPeople web application sums up a consumer’s total energy usage taking into account a consumer’s electricity bill, average cost of gasoline, and number of miles driven per year. The web application allows users to select the electric vehicle of their choice to see when the SolarEV Bundle concept makes sense.



The same consideration applies to cogenerating furnaces; if they are not specified with possible PEV use in mind, they will be undersized and not capture all the available savings and efficiencies.


An EV will use a massive lion's share of wattage in an average home however since charging is almost exclusively in evenings when usage is low and cost is cheap.

Still, offsetting it with solar is great and the panels are coming down in price all the time. The amortization of the investment is getting shorter all the time.


Actually, a Smart Grid-enabled EV charger might take less instantaneous power than an all-electric kitchen.  Driving 22 miles/day at 350 Wh/mi is 7.7 kWh, or less than 1 kW average on an overnight charge.

If there's going to be a high degree of solar penetration, the important thing is going to be to make sure that EVs are plugged into the grid in the peak sun hours and that power can be wheeled from where it's generated to where the vehicles are.  Absent this, the turndown capacity of other generation is going to be sorely tested on every sunny day, with expensive and otherwise unsatisfactory results.

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