Mitsubishi's solar-powered electric-vehicle charging stations

OK, so this isn't exactly a "man-bites-dog" type of story, but it's still worth noting that electric vehicle buyers enjoy green energy. Turns out, folks are more likely to buy a plug-in vehicle if they know the electricity that will power the car, or at least some of it, will come from a renewable energy source.

That's the conclusion of a study produced by Environmental Research Letters (ERL), which found that plug-in vehicle demand in regions with a "green electricity" option is a stunning 23 percent higher than in areas without a clean-energy option. Researchers from Canada's Simon Fraser University and UC Davis polled prospective electric-vehicle and plug-in-hybrid buyers and found that buyer interest jumped where there was a chance to double-down on their green cred if they could use something like, say, solar power. For those with a little time on their hands, here's the report.

Automakers like Tesla Motors, with its solar-powered Superchargers, and BMW have already shown they understand the connection between green energy and selling EVs. The Germany-based company is getting ready to start selling its first mass-produced plug-in vehicles under its new i sub-brand – the i3 is due towards the end of the year – and last year struck a deal with Real Goods Solar to offer special deals to ActiveE drivers who wanted to charge green.