For years, genuine solar charged driving or in-situ solar charged driving, took place relatively unnoticed on back roads and special racetracks far removed from the main highways and byways of America. Sleek, aerodynamic (mostly teardrop shaped) cars covered in solar panels silently zipped along in competitions with vehicles mostly piloted by university students and weekend hobbyist.
The vehicles, sometimes just barely large enough to fit one average sized person inside and a little sturdier than light framed bicycles, placed maximum emphasis on speed and distance traveled with a lesser degree of emphasis placed on passenger comfort. After all, the objective was to just arrive at the finish line in the quickest time possible.
I'm a political activist at heart. Have been since the age of 11, and always will be for better and/or for worse -- depending on your perspective.
I'm literally incapable of being a follower or of swiming with the mainstream -- though I might be a happier person if I had this capacity.
I don't mean that I'll show up at work one day in a pink dress and tights, although I think it's radically silly and dumb that if I wanted to do this, that I would be "forbidden" from doing so by larger social norms.
Pink dresses for men aren't important to my personal identity, but I acknowledge they are for other men - good for them!
Does using solar offset to 'fuel' an electric car make it a zero air pollution car - or is that lying?
Yes, I know, the headline for this entry is pretty charged, and, I will say, right up front, I don't think solar-charged driving is a lie.
However I do concede that after more than five years of promoting solar-charged driving on this web site and more than one year of doing EV + PV myself, I still feel uncomfortable with the fact that most of my "solar-charged" driving is in fact, technically speaking, "solar-offset-charged" driving.
That is, I charge my 2014 Nissan LEAF mostly at night, when the sun isn't shining, though, on weekends I try to make a point of plugging my EV in as much as I can during the day.
Would you like to drive for free?
I bet you would. And I bet you're not coming anywhere close, unless you don't drive but walk, bike, or take public transportation, or a combination thereof, and/or you subscribe to some sort of car sharing plan -- all of which I strongly support.
I'm not driving my 2014 Nissan LEAF SV for free, but I'm coming pretty close by taking advantage of what I will call the EV + PV Free Ride.
Across my two-year lease (which includes 12,000 miles per year), I will pay a total of $10,000 to Nissan to drive my LEAF. But that's not what my out-of-pocket costs will actually amount to. They will be half that.
I've driven my 2014 LEAF SV 14,000 miles in Colorado, USA, all of these miles solar-charged :-) via my home's 5.6 kW solar system. Generally, I'm quite happy with my LEAF.
First, I want to say I know there are quite a few conservatives and right-leaning libertarians who drive electric cars and many who power/fuel their EVs with home solar. They are tapping into the great joy and independence and freedom of solar-charged driving, with independence and freedom being values often associated with political conservativism.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of conservatives who are downright anti-electric vehicle and downright anti-solar. And the sad thing is, I think too many, maybe most of these people, are anti-EV and anti-solar simply because they view electric cars and solar as being somehow "liberal".
In other words, they're not against electric vehicles and solar, and solar-charged driving because they're inherently against EVs, PV and the independence that EV + PV delivers. They're against them simply because "liberals" are for these things.
- Enjoy superior EV quickness while you still can
- Why are some libertarians so anti EV+PV?
- An open letter to the pro Big Utility hypocrites
- A Nissan LEAF runs completely out of charge
- Home solar more expensive than 5 years ago
- Public buying into Hydrogen Fairy Myth
- Utilities shouldn't control production & the grid
- Distributive solar will take down utility monopolies
- 5 reasons electric vehicle lovers hate hydrogen
- When the Nissan LEAF is your ONLY car
- Support electric cars? Don't buy a Toyota
- Goodbye central utilities, hello home solar!
- 10 things I love about our Nissan LEAF
- Solar-charged Nissan LEAF an 'inspiration'
- Littleton, Colo. plugs into Drive Electric Week
- Running our electric car on sun in Colorado
- Home solar is so much sexier with an EV
- There's a better way than oil: Solar
- EV + solar PV delivers $300k of ‘sunny money’
- Solar-charging FAQs