Charging, Part 8: We Roll Our Own, OPEC!

In the last post on charging, I said I don’t have the space here to list individual homeowners with PV and EVs.  Well, heck, here I go:

-Tom Moloughney charges his BMW ActiveE with the solar panels on his house.  They would be enough to completely power his house, and most days still have some for the car… even in cloudy New Jersey.  Read his blog here.  Superstorm Sandy?  What gas shortages?  He happens to be a high-mileage guy, so he also tops up on the street with grid power.  But if his commute was more normal, he might drive on his solar panels alone.

Peder and Julie Norby uses a 3 kW solar system just for their two electric cars, with more panels for their house.  They have made their money back in a few years, and are now (in terms of marginal cost) racking up driving miles for free.

David and Megan Kollar uses a 1.4 kW array to partially power a house and car.  They also have a solar thermal system and wood stove for heating.  Since they have a home battery pack, some of their car miles are directly due to their solar panels, not offsets.

-A home in Orlando, FL has both rooftop solar arrays, and a personal-scale wind turbine on the property.  This both runs the house and tops up multiple electric motorcycles, as they are not connected to the local grid at all.

Jack Fleck’s 3.2 kW rooftop array powers his Chevy Volt.  Even in Northern California (not that sunny), his panels more than offset the amount he recharges for driving.  With a slightly larger system, or in a sunnier location, he figures the electric utility might actually pay him instead.

Waidy actually does produce more than she consumes, on both a per-dollar and per-Watt basis.  Her panels total over 17 kW, thanks to some outbuildings and ground mounts.  These charge her house, her RAV4 EV, and a Leaf.  She’s also got a Tesla preordered, not quite there yet.

-Gearhead and all-around geek Eric Tischer uses a 3.6 kW array to charge the VW Passat he converted himself.  (This was before he got hired by Tesla.)  The panels are enough to lower his per-kWh rate by nearly an order of magnitude, and his total bill by about a factor of four.  This is without figuring in gas prices; he’s gone over 40,000 miles on electricity.

-An East Bay driver uses 3.6 kW of solar to help offset a converted Toyota MR2.  Again, the price of gas compared to the price of electricity makes solar panels profitable.  Not practical… profitable.

Christophe Hubert has solar arrays… in cloudy ol’ Paris.  They help charge his Vectrix scooter.

Dennis has several kW of solar arrays powering his house and car.

-Let’s also throw in Chuck Swackhammer (multiple EVs) and Colin Summers.  There are more without a web presence, of course.

Unfortunately, I personally don’t charge the bike with solar power.  I got a good deal on a house, but it is shaded in by the neighbors on three sides… the three sunny sides.  It’s a shame, too.  Given how little juice the Zero actually uses, it would take just a small solar array to cover my riding.  The cost of installation and hookup work, plus interest charges and transaction fees, might be more than the panels themselves.

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