Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Solar "Fuel"

As I eagerly await picking up my Mini E (after the installation of the wall-box at my home) my thoughts have been about solar fuel as compared to fossil fuel.

There is constant argument between EV advocates and the “fossil fuelers” about the true environmental cost for BEV’s like the Mini-E or Tesla as compared to fossil fuel. The argument usually involves the environmental cost of the batteries once used, and the fact that electricity to power these cars is mostly generated at coal or gas fired power plants. Thus these two factors negating any environmental gains from reducing fossil fuel use.

On the battery front, Lithium chemistries are very good at being reused or recycled, much easier to do so than the Nickel Metal Hydride chemistry.

Now to my main point, “Solar fuel”

The average homeowner cannot make fossil fuel. They can make solar fuel. A huge advantage for solar, the electric car, oil independence, national security, and the environment just to list a few.

What if I told you that you could buy a fuel station for your home, your own personal B.P. Station that requires no land, for the same price that you would pay for 6 years of gas purchased at $3.00 a gallon? And that you would never have to pay for gas or visit a gas station again for the rest of your life? Just from an economic point of view, we would undoubtedly jump at the chance to do so, knowing that most of us will drive and purchase gas for approximately 60 years of our life.

Here’s how it works… Electric cars like the Mini-E and the Tesla average about 4 to 5 miles per kilowatt hour. Using a low number of 4miles per kwh and my driving average of 10000 miles a year, the car will use 2500kwh. To generate that much electricity, a solar P.V. system of 1.5kw would be needed. This system in California would cost the homeowner $6605. (this is based on my 4.4kw system installed on my home that generated 7230kw last year and the B.P Solar website for estimated system cost.)

The same Mini Cooper gas model gets 26mpg in combo driving. This is 385 gallons of gas a year at $3.00 a gallon or $1150 dollars per year. In less than 6 years of driving the identical gas car, you would have spent more money in gas than your cost of the solar fuel. Solar fuel that is inexhaustible and will keep on producing for 50 years or more for the average system.

The day that you can power your home and your car by sun is here. I look forward to a modest 2kw expansion of my existing 4.4kw solar P.V. system and the delivery of my Mini-E. I look forward to living in a zero energy home and driving a car powered only by the sun.

It’s real, it’s here.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Spark-e is coming!

I've named the new car "Spark-e" and for the record, I am not referring to spark plugs! The desire to live in a home and drive a car powered by nothing other than the sun is very close to a reality.

Stay Tuned!