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John with Tesla Owners of Silicon Valley shared some interesting Tesla Solar news for those who plan to take a loan to install it. He discovered that Tesla has launched better rates on solar loans. Previously, the loan option was for a 20-year plan with 10% down and 5.99% APR.

Recently, Tesla made the loan option much more affordable with a new 10-year plan, 10% of the cost down, and only 0.99% APR. John tweeted that this was a complete game changer and that Elon Musk is making solar more and more affordable.

In a Twitter direct message, John told me, “I had the solar loan for 20 years at 5.99%. Then I saw on the website that it changed to 0.99% for 10 years. It literally will take me half the time to pay off the same rate.”

John also shared a screenshot, and looking at his details, the loan is cheaper on a monthly basis than my own electric bill. This is with 4.08 kW of solar panels and one Tesla Powerwall. After the federal tax credit and California’s Solar Renewable Energy Credit, his total cash price goes down from $20,292 to $14,835. His estimated loan payment is $160 a month before the incentives — and afterward, they drop down to $112 a month. This is for 120 months with a 0.99% APR.

Image courtesy of Tesla

Elon Musk Explained Tesla’s Low Solar Cost In 2020

In 2020, Zach Shahan wrote an article for CleanTechnica after having a short chat with Elon Musk about the low cost of solar Tesla is offering.

Zach asked Elon Musk how it was that Tesla got the cost of rooftop solar so low, lower than seemingly anyone else in the industry. Elon said:

“Solar panel cost is only ~50 cents/Watt. Mounting hardware, inverter and wiring is ~25 cents/Watt. Installation is ~50 cents/Watt, depending on system size.

“The other solar companies spend heavily on salespeople, advertising and complex financing instruments. We do not.”

This info came soon after Tesla announced rooftop solar would cost around $2 per watt across the country, $1.49/watt after the US federal tax credit. However, all of that just covers the cash cost. When financing, as many do, you also have to pay interest. This is where the news this week comes in. Offering 0.99% APR instead of 5.99% means further savings (dramatic savings) for people who go solar with Tesla.

U.S. Solar Installations Rose By 46% In Q1 2021

Solar installations in the U.S. rose by 46% to over 5 gigawatts in the first quarter of this year, CNBC just reported. The article cited a report by Wood Mackenzie and the Solar Energy Industries Association. Here in the U.S., we are on track to install 24.4 gigawatts this year, which will be an increase of almost 24% compared to last year.

Technology costs have also declined to the point that solar is now competitive with power generated from fossil fuels.

Almost three-quarters of the total solar segment in the first quarter came from projects for utilities and other big customers. Much more is planned, too. This part of the market has almost 77 gigawatts worth of projects in the pipeline.

The demand for clean energy, especially solar, is high, and with more competitive costs and interest rates, it will only get higher.

So far, almost 100% of new power capacity added to US grids is coming from wind power and solar power. That led to 25.5% of U.S. electricity coming from renewables in March.

The Biden administration wants much faster growth, though. “The sector’s growth has also benefited from a long-standing generous federal tax credit for solar energy systems that the administration of President Joe Biden wants Congress to extend by a decade as part of its push to address climate change by investing in clean energy,” CNBC writes.

A combination of extended solar tax credits, more state & federal support for solar, lower solar costs and interest rates, and rising consumer awareness should lead to many more record quarters for solar power installations and for solar-generated electricity. Whether from Tesla, Sunrun, SunPower, Vivint Solar, or others, many more solar panels are getting installed on rooftops every day of the year. Large solar projects are also being built in open fields. Stay tuned for more sunny solar news.


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Nissan feels the heat from BYD’s EV price war in China

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Nissan feels the heat from BYD's EV price war in China

Nissan is the latest victim of BYD’s “liberation battle” against gas-powered cars. After BYD’s aggressive price cuts this year, Nissan is shutting down a factory in China as it struggles to keep up.

As is the case for many legacy automakers, China is a critical sales market for Nissan. Nearly a third of Nissan’s global sales and net profits are from China.

After slipping out of the top five automakers (by market share) in China in 2022, Nissan’s woes are worsening. Nissan’s sales fell 16% in China last year and the trend has continued into 2024.

Nissan’s sales fell another 2.8% last month, with 64,233 vehicles sold in China. The company cut guidance by 23% last year, with 800,000 vehicle sales expected in fiscal 2024. According to Nikkei, Nissan will do so with one less factory.

Nissan is closing the doors to its plant in Changzhou as the factory is building more cars than it can sell.

The facility accounts for about 8% of Nissan’s production capacity in China, with an annual capacity of around 130,000 units. According to the report, the plant shuts down on Friday.

Nissan-BYD's-EV
Nissan Ariya electric SUV (Source: Nissan)

Under its joint venture with China’s Dongfeng Motor, Nissan has eight plants in the region. Its total annual capacity is around 1.6 million, double Nissan’s projected sales figures for fiscal 2024.

Nissan shuts down China plant amid BYD’s EV price war

The plant shutdown comes as Nissan struggles to keep up in an increasingly competitive China EV market.

China’s largest automaker, BYD, kicked off a “liberation battle” against ICE vehicles earlier this year. The goal is to continue taking market share from gas-powered cars with lower-priced EVs. So far, it seems to be working.

Nissan-BYD's-EVs
BYD (Dolphin Mini) Seagull EV (Source: Nissan)

BYD has drastically cut prices while introducing lower-priced EV models. Its cheapest, the Seagull EV, starts under $10,000 (69,800 yuan).

BYD’s CEO, Wang Chaunfu, said EVs have entered “the knockout round” and that the next two years will be critical for automakers to catch up.

With lower-priced, more advanced models hitting the market, BYD sees joint venture brands (like Nissan’s) market share falling from around 40% to 10% in China.

Nissan isn’t the only legacy automaker feeling the heat. Japanese rivals Toyota, Mitsubishi, and Honda have also pulled back in China amid slumping sales.

Nissan-BYD's-EV
Nissan EV concepts (Source: Nissan)

Meanwhile, BYD looks to expand its global footprint after outgrowing China’s EV market. BYD is closing in on a deal for a plant in Mexico that would be among the biggest in the country. The company expects to sell 50,000 vehicles in Mexico this year.

BYD is also expanding on Nissan and Toyota’s home turf. According to data from the Japan Automobile Importers Association, BYD accounted for over 20% of Japan’s EV imports in January.

With longer-range, lower-priced models rolling out, BYD’s momentum is expected to continue. China’s leading automaker is also expanding into new segments like pickups (check out the new Shark PHEV), mid-size electric SUVs, and luxury.

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Tesla Model 3 Long Range costs $3,200 more to finance than last week

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Tesla Model 3 Long Range costs ,200 more to finance than last week

Tesla scrapped promotional financing on the Model 3 Long Range this week after it became eligible for the $7,500 federal tax credit.

As Electrek reported on June 17, Tesla and the IRS confirmed that the Model 3 Long Range All-Wheel Drive is now eligible for the full tax credit. Today, Tesla is pricing the EV’s upfront purchase price at just $34,990 – $1,000 more than the Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive – including the federal tax credit and an estimated five-year gas savings of $5,000.

The Model 3 Rear Wheel Drive still doesn’t qualify for the federal tax credit because it uses LFP battery cells from China.

The Model 3 Long Range is now listed at 6.39% APR on loans up to 72 months. The Model 3 Rear-Wheel Drive continues to offer 1.99% APR for 36 months with a 60-month option at 2.99%.

Even though the Model 3 Long Range is now $7,500 cheaper, the higher interest rate is a bit of a party pooper, as it eats up potential savings. The folks at CarsDirect estimated that on a five-year loan, thanks to the 6.39% interest rate, the Model 3 Long Range has more of a $4,200 advantage than a $7,500 advantage.

If you’re eligible for the federal tax credit, the Model 3 Long Range is cheaper than before but costs around $3,200 more to finance through Tesla than last week. CarsDirect suggests comparing your options carefully if you’re shopping for a Model 3 Long Range. 

Click here to find a local dealer that may have the Model 3 in stock –affiliate link


If you live in an area that has frequent natural disaster events, and are interested in making your home more resilient to power outages, consider going solar and adding a battery storage system. To make sure you find a trusted, reliable solar installer near you that offers competitive pricing, check out EnergySage, a free service that makes it easy for you to go solar. They have hundreds of pre-vetted solar installers competing for your business, ensuring you get high quality solutions and save 20-30% compared to going it alone. Plus, it’s free to use and you won’t get sales calls until you select an installer and share your phone number with them.

Your personalized solar quotes are easy to compare online and you’ll get access to unbiased Energy Advisers to help you every step of the way. Get started here. –affiliate link*

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Utah is getting 20 ‘hyper-fast’ Electrify America EV charging stations

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Utah is getting 20 'hyper-fast' Electrify America EV charging stations

Electrify America and electric utility Rocky Mountain Power have rolled out the first of 20 DC fast charging stations in Utah.

Electrify Commercial, a business unit of Electrify America, and Rocky Mountain Power, a division of PacifiCorp, are deploying more than 80 chargers at 15 DC fast charging stations in the Salt Lake City area and five DC fast charging stations in surrounding regions.

So far, four charging stations have come online in Millcreek, Vernal, Moab, and Kimball Junction.

Rocky Mountain Power, the only rate-regulated public utility providing electric service in Utah, will own the new charging stations. Each will have “hyper-fast” chargers capable of speeds up to 350 kW. The utility will set the pricing and Rocky Mountain Power utility customers get a discounted rate.

Since 2016, Rocky Mountain Power has installed more than 120 DC fast chargers in Utah and completed an electric highway corridor along I-15, Utah’s primary and only north-south interstate highway. It’s also facilitated the installation of more than 3,000 Level 2 chargers for workplaces, retail, and multifamily housing. The utility is spending $50 million to install EV charging infrastructure across Utah.

All 20 of Utah’s new DC fast charging stations will be on Electrify America’s coast-to-coast “locate a charger” map, which includes more than 950 stations and over 4,250 chargers in the US and Canada. Drivers will be able to access and pay for charging on Rocky Mountain Power’s chargers through the Electrify America mobile app.

Read more: Here’s what Electrify America’s EV charging plans are for 2024


To limit power outages and make your home more resilient, consider going solar with a battery storage system. In order to find a trusted, reliable solar installer near you that offers competitive pricing, check out EnergySage, a free service that makes it easy for you to go solar. They have hundreds of pre-vetted solar installers competing for your business, ensuring you get high quality solutions and save 20-30% compared to going it alone. Plus, it’s free to use and you won’t get sales calls until you select an installer and you share your phone number with them.

Your personalized solar quotes are easy to compare online and you’ll get access to unbiased Energy Advisers to help you every step of the way. Get started here. –affiliate link*

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