editors-blog-entry3You’d think I would have gotten this earlier, but somehow it’s taken longer to sink in than you would think.

After nearly 1 ½ years of publishing SolarChargedDriving.Com, I’m finally starting to understand that a lot of environmentalists don’t like EVs. In fact, more than a few greenies I’ve “met” online, usually in the comments string below an article about EVs, are dismissive, condescending and downright bull-headed toward electric cars.

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Take, for example, Adam_W, who I had the (dis)pleasure of meeting in the comment string below an article posted to RenewableEnergyWorld.Com in which the author, Tam Hunt, makes the claim that EVs will reduce carbon emissions.

At one point, early in our exchange (ours was not the only exchange in a comment string that has mushroomed to well over 100 comments, quite long by REW measures) Adam_W flippantly dismissed the renewable energy + EV mix as “silly”.


Dismissive greenies
Adam_W’s certainly not the first, only, or last anti-EV greenie I’ll meet in my online proselytizing in behalf of EV + PV. Nor, unfortunately, is his dismissive characterization of the solar + electric car combo unique. It seems there are a lot of close-minded, higher-than-thou greenies around who are just plain against EVs.

I now (finally, some might say!) get that this is the reality.

What I still don’t quite get is why.

coda-windmills2After all, electric cars are the only form of transportation you can literally plug directly into renewable energy forms such as solar, wind and geothermal, the only motor-driven boxes on wheels that run efficiently on electricity which can be generated by energy forms that produce no air pollution whatsoever.

Plus – and this is one of the most important things about the whole EV + renewable energy equation – EVs can be harnessed as a way to grow, potentially radically grow, renewable energy in the United States, and around the world.

EVs a motivation to go solar
EVs are a big reason we went solar with a 5.59 kW home system in June of 2010.

In fact, I’m not 100 percent sure we would have gone solar at all if I hadn’t “discovered,” back in the summer of 2009, that, yes, you could power a full-sized car with electricity generated by a home solar system and, in the process, leave Big Oil behind, achieve something approaching near-total fueling independence, come pretty damn close to true zero emission driving, and, in our case, save money in the long term.

Cleaner air. Money saved. Individual and national fueling independence. Goodbye to Big Oil and to Middle Eastern Oil.

The EV + PV combination delivers all of these possibilities. This is huge, absolutely huge, especially in the United States, where nothing – and I do mean nothing – is bigger than individualism.

tesla-roadster-windmillsDriving solar forward
This is enough to drive renewable energy, in particular, home solar but also parking lot solar, forward in a truly remarkable way.

And yet, what you get from the narrow-minded Adam_W’s of the world is that EV + PV is just so, well, “silly.”

You see, Adam_W – and there are countless others like him – wants the renewable energy to go online first, and the EVs, if they absolutely must come (“true” greenies are only really for biking, walking and public transportation) to come after all of the renewable energy is online.

Only trouble is, EVs aren’t going to wait for renewable energy. They are here. Now.

And people are plugging them in.

Do EVs = More Coal?
The anti-EV greenies see this as a travesty. Firing up EVs, they say, will inevitably fire up more Dirty Coal.

Yes, EVs could indeed mean more coal. And, ironically, anti-EV greenies — through their defeatist, do-nothing attitude — appear determined to make this happen.

I get that this is a possibility, really, I do. In fact, I’ve written about this possible scenario on these pages. And I’m certain coal supporters and executives all over the world will do everything they can to use more EVs to justify more coal.

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Yes, EVs could indeed mean more coal. And, ironically, anti-EV greenies — through their defeatist, do-nothing attitude — appear determined to make this happen.

The millions of new EVs mean more coal only if we let it happen. In fact, millions, maybe tens of millions of new EVs around the world could mean just the opposite: More renewable energy – a lot of it. If we make it happen.

That’s because EV ownership is a powerful individual incentive to plug into renewable energy in the U.S., quite possibly the most powerful incentive there is.

Nissan LEAF-ers picking solar
Take, for instance, an ongoing poll at mynissanleaf.com, an online bulletin board for Nissan LEAF aficionados. The poll asks LEAF-ers what they plan to fuel their LEAF with. Out of 136 votes cast, 49% (67) say they’ll use solar to power their LEAF and another 17% (23) indicate they’ll buy green power from their utility to do so. We’ve got our own poll at SolarChargedDriving.Com. So far, 90 people have said they’ll power an EV with solar.

tesla-solar-backgroundThese numbers are anecdotal, and they’re not overwhelming. But they show that a considerable number of EV buyers are taking action to fuel their EV with renewable energy.

I am absolutely certain that many of those planning to tap renewable energy to power their new EV are doing so precisely because they are buying an EV. In other words, the EV is the motivation to plug into renewable energy.

This is a BIG deal. In fact, EVs could be the single most important factor in driving renewable energy forward in the U.S., and around the world. But this only happens if you, I, and other greenies, instead of putting forward a do-nothing defeatism, see EVs as an opportunity rather than as a problem.


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