EV+PV Independence Week: Goodbye gas station

independence-house-2011This week is Independence Day Week in the United States. In honor of independence, we are republishing several stories and blog entries that emphasize the spirit and feeling of independence embodied by, and delivered by, solar-charged driving. In fact, current solar-charged drivers overwhelmingly say the most satisfying part of plugging an electric car into a home solar system is the fueling independence it delivers. No more suckling at the you-know-what of Big Oil, no more sending your hard-earned money off to some unfriendly, undemocratic government halfway around the world, just the freedom of filling up your car with electrons produced locally via your very own home solar gas station!

gas station with R.I.P. superimposed on it

An EV frees you from trips to the gas station. You will never again share gas fumes with others at a self-serve gas station near you.

Let’s repeat that, because it is a very radical concept – one that surely has Big Oil quaking in its boots, or at least those Big Oil companies who haven’t had sufficient foresight to diversify their energy discovery and production approach and move, big time, into renewables: With an EV, you will never, ever visit a gas station again. Never.

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If you have a PHEV – which mixes the technology of electric driving with hybrid driving — depending on how much you drive it, and how you drive it, you may go months, yes, that’s right, months between those tedious trips to your local self-serve.

If you partially, or, better yet, fully charge your EV with electricity generated by solar panels on your home, you will be getting as close as you possibly can to complete car-fueling independence.

No more Big Oil companies or gas station managers between you and where you’re driving.

Just the sun and the solar panels on your home.

Still partially on the grid
To be fair, and accurate, unless you have a home battery pack and are literally off the electrical grid, you and your EV and/or PHEV will still be somewhat dependent on Big Coal.

You won’t always be plugging your EV in when there’s a lot of sun, and you might be plugging it in at night, when there’s none.

In that case, some of the electricity juicing your car – maybe even most of it will come from fossil fuels. Of course, as more and more Americans go solar, more and more of the electricity you draw off the grid will be clean, sun-powered electricity.

Gas stations of America, Rest In Peace!

But the reality that even solar-charged drivers are still partially tied to the coal-powered grid doesn’t steal the independence thunder solar-charged driving can deliver.

If, over the course of the year, the solar panels on your home produce 100-percent (or more!) of your total home electric and electric driving use, you can say that you generated enough total solar energy by yourself, on your very own rooftop, to cover, even if sometimes indirectly, 100-percent of the miles you drive in your EV, and, depending on how you drive your PHEV, pretty close to 100-percent of the miles you drive in your PHEV.

It’s difficult to imagine something more satisfying than being able to say that you are powering your car by yourself – except perhaps the satisfaction of driving by your local gas station and, in your head, imagining a big “RIP” superimposed onto the logo of Big Oil company A, B, or C.

Gas stations of America, Rest In Peace!

Solar-charging boosts national energy independence
On a broader level, solar-charging your car contributes to national energy independence.

The more of us who power our EVs and/or PHEVs partially or fully by solar on our home rooftops, the less oil we have to import from strife torn regions such as the Middle East.

Not to mention, the more of us who solar-charge our cars – and who mostly, or completely leave gasoline, and gas stations behind, the less pressure there is to “drill, baby, drill” in pristine wilderness areas such as the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.

In contrast to drilling more here at home – for an energy resource that it’s important to point out will run dry no matter what – a solar-charged driving road to energy independence creates national energy independence on the foundation of a limitless form of energy, the sun. And it does so without destroying the incredible beauty of America.