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Driving a solar-charged electric car means you save money — and it’s also patriotic. After all, you’re fueling your car with 100 percent domestic solar sunshine generated electricity.

editors-blog-entry3Would 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.

In 14 months with my LEAF, thanks to my 5.6 kW home solar system (installed in June 2010), which has cranked out enough electricity to power both my home and my LEAF 100 percent for the past 14 months, I haven’t paid at all for gasoline, thereby saving about $2,000 — I say about because the price of gasoline has fluctuated so much in the past five months, it’s hard to say for sure (BTW, I’m glad I don’t have to think at all about roller-coaster gas prices).

I will be getting a $3,000 State of Colorado EV tax rebate as well. Doing the math, $10,000 – $5,000 = $5,000. That’s right, just $5,000 to drive a brand new, all-electric, 100 percent home solar-charged Nissan LEAF and drive it for two years.

You couldn’t buy a reliable used car and pay just $5,000 to drive it for two years. In fact, I’d say you’re looking at at least $8,000 to buy, maintain, and fuel a reliable used car across two years in the Denver, Colorado area.

[Yes, I did have to pay $8,500 for my 5.6 kW home solar system; however, after just five years, my system has already paid itself off, thanks in part to EV + PV].

So much for the myth that electric cars are “too expensive”, eh?

As for the inevitable argument that I’m driving at “the taxpayers’ expense”, I don’t buy that bogus claim for a second.

Those people can talk to me about true cost economics, according to which so-called “externalities” such as pollution caused on the back end of things, such as burning fossil fuels, MUST be paid for one way or another.

The same people spewing this critique are, more often than not, the same folks driving gas guzzling, air pollution spewing cars and light trucks that cause costly health damage — to your lungs, to mine, and to theirs, and who are contributing to the insane costs of CO2 buildup in the global atmosphere.

Those people can talk to me about true cost economics, according to which so-called “externalities” such as pollution caused on the back end of things, such as burning fossil fuels, MUST be paid for one way or another.

And the rabid “anti-subsidy” crowd (who typically say nothing about subsidies for fossil fuels) can agree to a carbon tax — which would raise the cost of gasoline substantially, to what it should cost. Then, maybe, I’ll talk to them about “unfair” subsidies for electric cars and for “rich” (last time I checked 65k per year doesn’t make me, or anyone, “rich”) people like me.

You gotta love driving EV + PV for free, or something pretty damn close to it. It’s fun, it’s clean, it’s freedom! And it gets exactly the right people, people who, in theory, should be very much for EV + PV Freedom, frothing at the mouth.

What more could you ask for? 😉

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