Editor's blog

picture of a messy desk and computer screenFew things are more satisfying and rewarding than writing about something about which you are passionate. For me, the environment is one of the things for which I have the greatest passion. As a father of two young girls, and, more generally, as a member of global humanity, I believe there is nothing more important than ensuring that our planet is a livable place for its incredible array of organisms for as long as possible. Few things are more crucial to making sure this occurs than a truly massive shift from fossil -- and finite -- fuels to renewable, clean forms of energy like solar.

I'm driving an electric car nearly for free

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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.

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10 things Nissan should change about LEAF

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My 2014 Nissan LEAF has 14,000 miles on it, all of them Sun Miles :-)

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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.

That noted, here are 10 things I'd change/add for the next generation LEAF -->

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Getting conservatives to support EV + PV

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[ABOVE] The link and picture from a story about how national parks are adding EV charging stations posted by the Colorado Renewable Energy Society that came through my Facebook feed recently.

editors-blog-entry3First, 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.

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Enjoy superior EV quickness while you still can

editors-blog-entry3One of the greatest things about driving electric vehicles is their quickness of acceleration. Press on the gas pedal and you get immediate and impressive torque, even in a "lame" 2014 Nissan LEAF such as mine.

I call it "lame" because its official 0-60 m.p.h. time is somewhere between 8 and 9 seconds, hardly stellar, but also TOTALLY deceiving, as it's damn quick from 10 to 50 m.p.h.

Immediate accelaration is intoxicating, believe me -- and, if you're like me, it changes your driving behavior. I'll zip in here, past that car over there, take off here, and there, way more often than I ever did in my 1992 Acura Integra, which I owned for 21 years, and which, while not the peppiest of cars, wasn't the un-peppiest of cars either.

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Why are some libertarians so anti EV+PV?

subsidies-solar-vs-ffeditors-blog-entry3Amazing how many people are (willfully?) ignorant about the billions in tax breaks fossil fuels and Big Oil get. And I'm supposed to feel bad because I've gone solar and drive a solar-charged EV? Gimme a break...

See the comment stream below this Grist.Org article -- 'Now is the time to invest in solar, because people are stupid' -- for more of the anti-EV, pro- Big Oil position (I use the handle cbdh19 in case you want to help support me. Sadly this position is espoused by self-declared right wing libertarians who, in theory, should be for the fueling independence that solar-charged driving delivers. In fact, a lot of right wing libertarians are EV + PV, but it seems like a lot more are inexplicably against EV + PV and for the Big Utility and Big Oil model.

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