SolarChargedDriving.Com caught up with Brandon Williams, Chair of Electric Avenue, a two-day event held recently in Denver, Colo. to promote electric vehicles. Held to coincide with the World Renewable Energy Forum, which ran from May 14-18, the event was sponsored by the Colorado Renewable Energy Society.
Among other things, SolarChargedDriving.Com asked Williams why consumers should choose electric cars over conventional gasoline cars and what the future holds for the EV + PV combination. The transcript of our interview with Williams is below.
SolarChargedDriving.Com: Why drive electric?
Brandon Williams: Electric cars are really important not only because they’re a new technology or a new option, but also because for consumers electric vehicles are a tool to help clean the air in Colorado. The EV is a great option to help people achieve the goals of environmentalism, reducing petroleum consumption, and cleaning up the air.
SolarChargedDriving.Com: What will it take to get mainstream car buyers to purchase EVs?
Brandon Williams: I think that once people get an opportunity to sit in one and drive one they’re going to find that it’s a smooth, comfortable and quiet ride and that an EV performs much like the vehicles they’re used to. Also, having more choices out there, small, medium and large will help. In fact, sometimes a car isn’t the best fit for some people. It may be too pricey or they may already have a couple of new cars. That’s why electric motorcycles, electric scooters, and electric bicycles are a great option. They ensure that there’s an electric vehicle that’s a really good fit for everyone.
SolarChargedDriving.Com: What do you think about EV + PV?
Brandon Williams: I think EV and PV go hand in hand. Right now, it’s very possible to use six or eight solar panels to completely charge a vehicle like the Nissan LEAF . . . I think we’re going to see more solar carports like the one from Lumos Solar that we have here today. Solar carports help keep cars cooler when they’re parked but they’re also a great way to charge a bike or a motorcycle.
SolarChargedDriving.Com: How quickly will EV + PV take off?
Brandon Williams: I think as more electric vehicles hit the road in next three to five years, consumers are immediately going to start asking themselves, ‘Where is this power coming from?’. In Colorado, a lot of our power comes from coal-fired power plants. Once consumers start to become more informed in terms of their new purchase, I think solar companies like Lumos Solar and some of the other folks who are making PV charging stations are going to see huge growth. I think PV charging is a great option because you don’t need to focus all of the solar production on the vehicles. There are a number of different applications for the power that is coming out of those solar panels.
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