Top rated electric vehicles tips and renewable energy trends in Texas with Daniel Sumanth: When it comes to low-emission vehicles, the industry is facing a Catch-22 situation, said Auto Trader’s director of commercial products, Karolina Edwards-Smajda. ‘The growing appetite of AFVs [alternative fuel vehicles] offer the industry a great opportunity for growth, but for mass adoption, the average price needs to be more accessible to more people. However, with so few vehicles in the market, even second-hand cars are being pushed out of financial reach for most consumers. Current supply constraints mean excellent two-to-three year old EVs such as the Vauxhall Corsa-e, Hyundai Kona Electric and Porsche Taycan are better value new than used, particularly on finance. Assuming, of course, you can get one when you need it. Given the inflated nature of used prices currently, it may be worth buying a cheap old car to tide you over, rather than financing a car potentially with high interest rates and a much higher starting point to fall from when values adjust to a more normal supply of new cars. Discover even more info on Daniel Sumanth, TX
The new Porsche Taycan is a brilliant car to drive, remaining true to its maker’s heritage and leaving you in no doubt that this is a ‘proper’ Porsche sports saloon. The Taycan delivers sports car-like handling, with ferocious acceleration and great agility – yet still offers four seats and a usable range. It’s not often that a car comes along that feels truly revolutionary, but that is exactly what the Porsche Taycan is – and it shows how much fun a plug-in future can be. Despite being a hefty 2.2-tonnes in weight, it hides its bulk well, and is able to weave neatly through tight corners and demolish fast, sweeping bends. The Taycan’s raw pace is, frankly, ridiculous; in ‘standard’ 523bhp 4S guise it manages the 0-62mph benchmark in 4.0s, although if you upgrade to the 750bhp Turbo S version, it’s a staggeringly quick 2.8s. Don’t forget, though, the Taycan should also be pretty easy to live with as a daily driver. Refinement is top notch and, while ride comfort is firm, the air suspension does its job of dealing with the broken, uneven tarmac of Texas roads.
Solar energy can be used for diverse purposes. You can generate electricity (photovoltaics) or heat (solar thermal). Solar energy can be used to produce electricity in areas without access to the energy grid, to distill water in regions with limited clean water supplies and to power satellites in space. Solar energy can also be integrated into the materials used for buildings. Not long ago Sharp introduced transparent solar energy windows.
The Ioniq 5 has its sights firmly set on premium rivals such as the Audi Q4 e-tron, Volkswagen ID.4 and Tesla Model Y. Make no mistake, the Ioniq 5 is impressive across the board, showcasing next-gen electric car tech along with capable performance and charging ability normally reserved for high-end models like the Porsche Taycan and Audi e-tron GT. Two battery options are available with three power outputs: the entry 58kWh battery is paired with a single 168bhp motor driving the rear wheels, delivering a 0-62mph time of 8.5 seconds and a range of 238 miles. The 214bhp mid-spec version offers the best range, with a 73kWh battery increasing the total distance able to be covered on a single charge to 280 miles. The top-spec variant uses the same 73kWh battery, but adds a second motor at the front, giving a combined total of 301bhp and 605Nm of torque. Overall range falls slightly to 267 miles, although performance is much improved with 0-62 taking 5.2 seconds.
Since you will be meeting some of your energy needs with the electricity your solar system has generated, your energy bills will drop. How much you save on your bill will be dependent on the size of the solar system and your electricity or heat usage. Moreover, not only will you be saving on the electricity bill, but if you generate more electricity than you use, the surplus will be exported back to the grid and you will receive bonus payments for that amount (considering that your solar panel system is connected to the grid). Savings can further grow if you sell excess electricity at high rates during the day and then buy electricity from the grid during the evening when the rates are lower.
I mention price and quality here because generally, the old adage is true. You do get what you pay for. Diesel generators generally cost more to purchase yet tend to last the longest. One of our diesel generators is a 1996 model, the other is 2004. And our neighbor runs a 1956 (!) Lister still running strong. Gasoline models will wear out the fastest of the three types of generators although they are far cheaper on their initial purchase. Propane generators run somewhat cleaner and generally quieter than diesel or gasoline. And generators with a low rpm (typically 1800 rpm) should last longer than those that run at a faster rpm (typically 3600 rpm).
The Audi Q4 e-tron uses the same underpinnings as the Skoda Enyaq iV and the Volkswagen ID.4, so it has an impressive range of up to 316 miles and 125kW rapid-charging. This also means it’s Audi’s most affordable electric car at the moment, and it makes a great family car because it’s spacious inside and comfortable to drive. The Q4 e-tron’s interior is as upmarket as you’d expect from an Audi, and it’s more user-friendly than the ID.4’s cabin as well, without losing out on the amount of technology available. There’s lots of rear leg and headroom, even for adults, and a big boot. The Audi isn’t as good value as the Skoda, but if you want something a bit more upmarket, the Q4 e-tron is a great option. Read our full review to find out more, and make sure to check out our head-to-head twin test between the Q4 e-tron and the Tesla Model Y here.
How long do solar panels last? However, while that’s usually the case with a central inverter (which handles the output of all the panels), a newer type, the so-called ‘micro-inverters’, are installed or included with each solar panel, and are said to have a much longer lifespan (up to 25 years), and could last for decades as well.