Autonomous Cars or EVs? Why Not Both?

11.01.2016 – by Mary Kathryn Campbell

We’ve read a few pieces in recent weeks which seem to relish pitting autonomous vehicle technology against electric vehicles. One pundit even speculates that we should say “goodbye to EVs.”

We see a false equivalency argument between the problems that the two technologies solve. Electrified drive trains offer cleaner air, fewer parts to maintain, and most importantly, a break from the grip of fossil fuels. Autonomous, or self-driving cars, theoretically provide increased mobility, safety, and energy efficiency.

While the evolution of EVs has admittedly suffered starts and stops, the last decade has seen a steady rise in options for consumers. These commercially available production vehicles benefit from rapid advances in batteries, OEM manufacturing investments, and strong policies and incentives in many states, from California to Massachusetts, from Colorado to Tennessee, and many others. Manufacturers in Europe and the US are also striving to achieve regulatory goals which EVs help them meet. Thanks to all of these factors, and education and advocacy work by groups like Plug In America, more than a dozen vehicles are available for purchase in all 50 states, with two long-range, groundbreaking cars on the near horizon, GM’s Bolt and Tesla’s Model 3.

Meanwhile, the nascent autonomous vehicle sector is still in its infancy.

Google's self driving car

Google’s self driving car

Adding complication to the technologies’ development, clear policy mechanisms for autonomous vehicles have not been established or are still in the works. Most states have no regulations yet to address autonomous vehicles. Policymakers face an extremely steep learning curve with self-driving cars. Additionally, without an overarching federal approach, there is a great deal of room for conflict among states, which will also curb their deployment.

The final, and maybe the most difficult potential barrier to a fully automated fleet, in the US, anyway: the American consumer. Americans still love to drive. And the vast majority of American EV drivers cite the experience, the cars’ superior driving performance as a key reason for never returning to an ICE vehicle. Although the movement away from personal vehicle ownership is trending, changing user and consumer behaviors is often on an evolutionary scale: long and arduous.

All of this said, we see great potential synergies for combining these new models and modes of transportation. Tesla has taken the lead here, with autonomous tech standard in its Models S and X. Looking forward a decade or two, imagine car sharing networks of autonomous vehicles serving neighborhoods with notoriously poor air quality. Or widespread deployment of electric buses and trucks which will be automatically directed to the most efficient routes possible, all while mitigating the potential for catastrophic human error. We’d encourage pundits to look for ways to transform the transportation sector which will benefit consumers and the environment, not pick winners or pit markets against each other. We’d also encourage policy makers and car makers to look at combining these technologies, and even consider mandating that new autonomous vehicles be electrified.

What if my tax bill is smaller than my tax credit amount?

Using the example of the $10,000 solar system, the ITC amount you would be eligible for is $3,000. But what if your total tax liability for that year is only $2,000? Can you carry over the remaining $1,000 to the next year?

It is fairly clear in form 5659 that, yes, you are allowed to carry unused credits forward into the next year (see lines 12-16 of the form) – and possibly beyond. This means that your tax liability for year 1 would fall to $0, and you would have an additional $1,000 of credit to put towards the following year’s tax bills.

However, it is yet unclear whether you will be able to carry unclaimed credits in the years after the ITC is discontinued.

ITC three scenarios

Figure 1: Comparing how the ITC would apply in three tax liability scenarios: a) $5,000 annual tax liability, b) $2,000 annual tax liability and c) $0 annual tax liability. For simplicity’s sake, we assume that the solar system costs $10,000, making the ITC amount would be $3,000. In scenarios a) and b), the ITC benefits are applied over 1 and 2 years, respectively. In scenario c) the ITC cannot be claimed due to insufficient tax liability (meaning that a solar lease might be a preferable option to purchase).

Tennessee Solar Solutions

Tennessee Solar Solutions LLC is an experienced turnkey solar engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) firm. Design, engineering, sales, installation, maintenance, back up and/or whole site emergency power generation and 24 hour emergency service. We are a fully licensed and insured general and electrical contracting firm specializing in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We offer 100% financing on all installations. We are renewable energy specialists. Your one stop shop for renewable energy!

 

2016 Top 500 Solar Contractors

2015 STATISTICS

TOP 500 RANK #309

Total Megawatts Installed Since Founded8.65 Company Founded2007
Total Megawatts Installed 20151.15 LocationChattanooga, TN
Employees19 Web Sitetennesseesolarsolutions.com
Primary MarketCommercial Primary ServiceEPC

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2015 Top 500 Solar Contractors

2014 STATISTICS

TOP 500 RANK #319

Total Megawatts Installed 20140.786 Company Founded2007
Employees17 LocationChattanooga, TN
Primary MarketCommercial Web Sitetennesseesolarsolutions.com
Primary ServiceEPC

CONTACT US NOW

Trump and Clinton butt heads on solar in first presidential debate

In the first Presidential debate last night, candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton could not have made their differing opinions on solar and climate change clearer.

Clinton pointed to a correlation between a healthy energy policy and job creation, stating that the nation could have “10 million more new jobs”, citing a sustainable energy policy as an “investment where we can grow the economy.”

“Take clean energy,” she said. “Some country is going to be the clean-energy superpower of the 21st century. Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think it’s real.”

Trump retorted that he “did not say that”. However, the Twitter account of the Republican nominee tells a different story, with a tweet from 2012 insisting that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.”

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Clinton originally vowed to install half a billion solar panels in her first term back in July 2015, and repeated her intent again during the debate: “And I think it’s important that we grip [climate change] and deal with it, both at home and abroad. And here’s what we can do: we can deploy a half a billion more solar panels. We can have enough clean energy to power every home. We can build a new modern electric grid. That’s a lot of jobs; that’s a lot of new economic activity.”

 

READ MORE HERE….

TN Solar Solutions Wins 2016 Sustainable Project of The Year, People’s Choice

Building Industry Associations Award Best of the Best with First Annual BRIC Awards April 27, 2016: Chattanooga, TN: The Associated General Contractors of EastTennessee,

2016 Sustainable Project of The Year
Ginny Kincer, COO of TN Solar with 2016 Sustainable Project of The Year Award.

American Institute of Architects of Chattanooga, Construction Specification Institute of Chattanooga, green|spaces and Sustainability Professionals of Greater Chattanooga recognized the best of the best in the building industry at the first BRIC (Building Recognition in Chattanooga) Awards ceremony on April 26 th .

“The goal of this event was to recognize the best of the best so that when a developer is starting a project, they know who the best architect, contractor and team to work with in Chattanooga and surrounding area.” stated Dawn Hjelseth, green|spaces Director of Development. “We want high quality building in Chattanooga and will do so by recognizing who is doing it.”

The event was presented by the Associated General Contractors of East Tennessee and benefited the ACE Mentor Program. The ACE Mentor Program mission is to engage, excite and enlighten high school students to pursue careers in architecture, engineering, and construction through mentoring and to support their continued advancement in the industry.

green|spaces presented: Sustainable Project of the Year

o Judge’s Choice: DH&W – Chattanooga Metropolitan Airport Authority

o People’s Choice: Tennessee Solar SolutionsGreen Urban Lab

o Honorable Mentions:

 Adamson Developers: Affordable Housing Initiative

 Chambliss, Bahner & Stophel: LEED Certification

 Antidote – End of Normal Home

 Crash Pad – Johnson Street Project

 Liberty Tower – LEED Certification & Renovation

 Unum – Employee Home Recycling Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE-

SEIA

Senate #MillionSolarStrong Resolution Highlights Clean Energy Growth

May 16, 2016
We're less than 24 hours away from one of the biggest online events in solar history, and we want to make sure YOU are a part of it!
TN Solar Solution Team is a Proud Member of SEIA

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today Sen. Martin Heinrich (D- N.M.) introduced a congressional resolution with Sen. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) supporting the solar industry’s efforts to bring low-cost, clean, 21st century solar energy to homes and businesses across the United States. Following is a statement from Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA):“We applaud Sens. Heinrich and Gardner for their leadership in accelerating our nation’s adoption of solar. As this resolution astutely points out, America just celebrated a major milestone. We are officially a #MillionSolarStrong and growing!

“After more than 40 years, there are 1 million solar installations in the U.S. and in the next two years we’ll hit 2 million as more Americans seize upon the opportunity to generate clean, affordable, reliable electricity. This has huge implications for adding jobs and creating economic growth in this country, and will involve substantial rooftop and utility scale growth.

“It is my hope that Congress continues to seize upon this vast potential, eventually instituting a solar caucus dedicated to the goals this congressional resolution spells out.

“We have entered a new era in American energy and having bipartisan Senate support like this, encouraging solar access for all, will be key to cementing America’s role as the worldwide leader of clean and cost-effective solar technology.”