t doesn’t take very long to question the supposedly “solid” linkage between fossil fuels and transportation. You would do this if you learned that 50% of your household carbon footprint is due to consumption of fuel for household transportation, and there is an affordable alternative. Or if you discovered that battery electric truck fleets could be fielded for comparable capital cost but substantially less for fuel and maintenance, with remarkably less in CO2 emissions.
Carbon-Free Transportation – Households
You have the option of breaking this link. Adding rooftop photovoltaic (PV) panels to your home creates an energy source that can charge an electric vehicle. Never buy another gallon of gasoline, at any price. Tax credits offset the cost of PV installation and rebates offset the cost of the electric vehicle (EV). You become your own energy utility, and with a little patience there is no charge for this energy. Utility credits for your PV energy can pay back the cost of the panels in 10 years and they last for 30.
A 3 kW PV panel in Seattle will supply the annual needs of a Nissan Leaf for 12, 000 miles of travel. For an in-depth report on the Renewable Gas Tank as a scalable climate solution, access The Renewable Gas Tank. Installers from Solar WA and Solar OR can offer you affordable quotes for this option. Charging overnight requires a connection to the electric utility grid.
EVs suitable for household transportation have been catalogued by the editors of SOLAR TODAY in terms of the spreadsheet provided from their open source link: June 2011 Roundup.
A corresponding better-energy-LLC spreadsheet is provided here (open with “Read Only”): EV Charging Needs Mapped to PV Capability.
Data from the better-energy-LLC spreadsheet are depicted below in terms of estimated energy performance (mi/kWh) and range per full charge, with notation for matching PV size needed for annual charging. EV Energy and Performance.