Tuesday, November 13, 2012

ELECTRIC CAR and HOME SOLAR: Drive Free, Drive Clean, Be A Patriot -- My Own Story

Electric Car Facts:
• The average gasoline car costs about $2800/year in fuel and maintenance costs.
• Electric cars cost $250-$1200/year for “fuel” and need virtually no maintenance.
• Electric cars are smoother, quieter, perform better, don’t leak or smell, and no more gas stations.
• Electric cars travel 75-300 miles: you charge in your garage at home and at work by plugging it in.
• The cost of gasoline has gone up about 300% in the last decade, and it will eventually run out.

Home Solar Facts:
• You can buy a home solar system; or have it financed so that you just buy electricity for less.
• A home solar system cost for your home and electric car requirements might be $10,000-$20,000.
• Home solar systems are guaranteed for 25 years, and are expected to work for 40 years.
• In last decade electricity has increased about 100% in cost, while home solar has decreased 50%.
• Solar owners “sell” valuable electricity to the utility in the day; “buy” cheap electricity at night.

Drive Clean:
• Since the industrial revolution approximately 150 years ago, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased nearly 50%.
• For most, cars are their biggest source of carbon dioxide, producing about 10,000 pounds a year.
• An electric car powered by solar energy (or other renewable energy) produces no carbon dioxide.
• In California, even without having a home solar system, the utility pollution from generating the electricity for an electric car is only about 10% of that produced by burning gasoline in your car.
• U.S. health costs related to fossil fuel pollution is $120 billion/year; the costs associated with global warming are $2 trillion/year.
• It takes electricity to make gasoline: amazingly, an electric car can travel further on the electricity used to make a gallon of gasoline than that gallon of gasoline will take an average car.
• Because of the efficiency of electric cars (they are about 85-90% efficient, compared to gasoline cars that are about 20-30% efficient), even if the electricity used by it was produced by burning coal, an electric car will still be cleaner than a gasoline car.

Be A Patriot!
• All renewable energy is domestic, and it is the fastest-growing source of domestic employment.
• OPEC makes over $1 trillion/year -- 1/3 of that goes to Saudi Arabia. Saudis committed 9/11.
• The single largest import in the United States is oil; we spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year buying it from foreign nations, weakening the value of the dollar.
• U.S. defense expenditures total over $1 trillion/year -- more than all discretionary spending.
• Since the oil embargos of the 1970s, we have fought three wars: Persian Gulf (Kuwait), Afghanistan, and Iraq. We have sacrificed thousands of American lives and our soldiers have sustained tens of thousands of permanent crippling injuries. We have spent trillions of dollars fighting these wars. It is absolutely no coincidence that these wars have all been fought in the Middle East, helping secure the oil spigots that the U.S. is dependent upon.
• The staggering cost of keeping an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf the last 30 years: $7.3 trillion (about half of our current national debt!).
• CIA Director James Woolsey said it most simply: AWe are paying for the terrorists with our SUVs.”

Our Home Solar and Electric Car Economics:
*Our home solar system cost $12,500, and it makes about 5000KWH of electricity a year (in the fog!). Our home uses about 4500KWH a year. Our electric Nissan Leaf uses about 3000KWH a year to drive about 10,000 miles. Yet, even though we are only making 5000KWH but using 7500KWH, our net cost is $0: this is because with “Time Of Use” metering the value of the electricity we generate is on average about 50% more than the value of the electricity we use. Our car is our single biggest electricity user, and it is set on a timer to charge only after midnight when the electricity rate is cheapest. Interestingly, for those with efficient homes, electric cars make it economically practical to install home solar.
*Because the Nissan Leaf replaced an average gasoline car that cost us about $2500/year in fuel and maintenance, and because we previously spent about $1000/year for our home electricity, we are saving about $3500/year. This means that our home solar system will be entirely paid for in savings in about 4 years. Thereafter, we will be using our home electricity and driving for free.
*While these are projections, given that the cost of gasoline has gone up on average about 12% a year and the cost of electricity has gone up about 7% a year (and these savings can be invested), over the life of the home solar system and electric car we might save over $400,000 -- far better than just driving for free.
*Electric cars save a lot of money: home solar saves a lot of money: together, they save a ton of money.
*The best part of the whole thing: electric cars are nicer to drive, with great guilt-free performance!


  1. Those are great points, sir! Electric cars, together with hybrid cars, are making waves in the auto industry because they conserve a lot of environmental and personal resources. You save money from fuel consumption and maintenance at the same time. :)


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  3. Cars of today has the same features said above.

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  5. It is pretty nice story on solar cars and electric cars. Facts about both cars are slowly some how helpful for us to understand for future.

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