Honda, Solar City Add $50 Million to Home Solar Finance Program | Edmunds

Honda, Solar City Add $50 Million to Home Solar Finance Program


Just the Facts:
  • Honda and SolarCity will provide up to $50 million in financing to Honda and Acura customers and dealerships for installing rooftop solar energy systems.
  • The program, launched last year, has already provided $65 million in solar system lease financing.
  • While Honda has stopped building battery-electric cars in favor of its upcoming hydrogen fuel-cell electric vehicle, it still sells a plug-in hybrid and has a corporate commitment to lowering its carbon footprint globally.

TORRANCE, California — After a successful first year, American Honda and SolarCity are expanding their rooftop solar system lease financing program to provide an additional $50 million in funding for Honda customers and dealerships.

The carmaker and the solar energy company initially paired up with a $65 million financing commitment in February 2013. All of that money has now been distributed, funding more than 1,000 residential and commercial system leases, says Honda spokesman Matt Sloustcher.

The Honda-SolarCity joint program provides financing for solar system installation to Honda and Acura customers and to Honda and Acura dealerships in the states in which SolarCity does business.

Honda has dropped its battery-electric car program in favor of an upcoming hydrogen fuel-cell electric car slated for launch next year, but still builds and sells the Honda Accord plug-in hybrid. Some owners could benefit from cheap solar electricity for recharging the PHEV's battery. Honda also says it has found that its vehicle buyers have a great interest in energy-saving programs even when they prefer gasoline-powered cars and trucks.

Additionally, Honda Motor Co.  has a global commitment to lowering its carbon footprint

The company sees promotion of solar energy systems for homes and businesses as an important step to reducing the use of carbon-based fuels for automobiles and for power generation.

The program provides Honda and Acura customers with financing for a zero down payment rooftop solar system lease from SolarCity, with at a $400 discount from the installed price.

The two companies also have launched co-marketing programs in which Honda promotes SolarCity energy systems and Solar City promotes the Accord PHEV.

SolarCity — whose chairman is electric car promoter Elon Musk, chairman of Tesla Motors — says its lease program frees users from the high cost of purchasing a solar energy system. The company says it charges users a rate that is typically lower than their utility company charges and protects them against future rate increases from their power company.

Honda isn't alone in the auto industry promoting use of solar power systems — also called photovoltaic systems. Ford Motor Co. has a deal with solar panel developer Sun Power to provide discounted rooftop photovoltaic systems to buyers of the Ford Focus EV.

SolarCity operates in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington.

Edmunds says: Financing and cheaper electricity costs sounds like a win-win for Honda customers who are interest in solar power.

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