Solar Powered Cars & Home – Save on Gasoline & Electricity

Tesla Model S and Roadster are powered by solar energy

Solar power system provides 76% of electricity required for home and both electric cars. As of April 2014, saved $24,011 ($15,818 saved on gasoline, and $8,193 saved on home electricity)

Welcome to a site dedicated to finding a sustainable energy future.  Please read the following Photovoltaic Solar Energy and Electric Vehicles versus Internal-Combustion-Engine Vehicles paper for a view as to how this is possible with today’s technology.  This paper compares many different options to gasoline and diesel powered vehicles such as natural gas, bio-diesel, ethanol, hydrogen, hybrids, and battery electric vehicles.  It also takes a look at many different energy sources such as oil, natural gas, coal, nuclear and solar power.   Also, please take a look at the performance of the solar power system and cars pictured above.

We must break our current dependence on nonrenewable sources of energy from fossil fuels because this dependence will only lead to greater political, economic and security instability for families, businesses, and nations.  The problem with nonrenewable sources of energy is not when we run out of them.  The problem is when demand outstrips supply causing prices to rise rapidly, which will result in market instability.  In the case of oil this situation is call “peak-oil“.   The solution to this problem comes up every morning and stares at us all day long.  With solar power and electric cars we can eliminate the need for middle eastern oil and the middle man.  Please take advantage of the many resources on this site, which will help you make an informed decision on a sustainable energy future.

“In any given hour, more energy from the sun reaches the Earth than is used by the whole human population in any given year.” National Geographic March 2009

Here is some performance information for the solar power system and electric cars pictured above as of 5 April 2014.

  • Lifetime solar power produced:                   63,200 kWh
  • Net GRID power used:                                      2760 kWh
  • 365 day average solar power produced:         32.4 kWh
  • 365 day aver. home and car power used:       42.4 kWh
  • Oil free miles:                                               80,818.9 miles
  • Gasoline saved:                                                  3,955 gallons
  • Oil saved:                                                                208 barrels
  • CO2 saved:                                                     186,965 pounds

How much can you save per year by switching to solar power and an electric car?

“We are like tenant farmers chopping down the fence around our house for fuel when we should be using Nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy — sun, wind and tide. … I’d put my money on the sun and solar energy.  What a source of power!  I hope we don’t have to wait until oil and coal run out before we tackle that”. -Thomas Edison, inventor (1847-1931)

“There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction” John F Kennedy

The computer used to develop this web site is solar powered.

©  2011-2014 Randy Jackson All Rights Reserved

9 Responses to Solar Powered Cars & Home – Save on Gasoline & Electricity

  1. Ian Taras says:

    I like the JFK quote: “There are risks and costs to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction”

    This is one of my personal favorites:
    “We make a living by what we get.
    We make a life by what we give!”
    -Sir Winston Churchill

  2. Gary Matack says:

    Hi Randy,

    Looks good! Still working on the solar energy CPV approach. Now projecting LCOE in the range of $0.08 to 0.10/kWh for American SW. We’re using low concentration (to replace expensive silicon cells with reflectors), tracking and well establish silicon cells.

    All the best!

    Gary

  3. Jeanne B says:

    Great pic, insightful caption.
    Adding to the quotes: To know and to not act is to not know. -Yang Wan Ming

    Glad you are amongst those who have chosen to take action, Randy!

  4. So true, Randy. I like this quote by Victor Hugo: “All the forces in the world are not so powerful as an idea whose time has come.” Sustainable energy’s time, as we know, has come. PV + EV = Oil Free!

  5. Anthony Ashcraft says:

    Hi Randy,
    I parked my 1992 16 mpg Silverado for a 2008 Vectrix VX-1 100% electric scooter
    that i found on e-Bay for $3500, it had only 450 miles on this freeway legal scooter
    that retails for 10K new. (Former Boise Idaho Sheriff Dept. test vehicle.)
    Since purchased in Aug of 2011, i have put 5000 miles on it at 1 cent per
    mile to operate off a standard 110 outlet. It has already paid for itself and
    all i have done for maintenance is put air in the tires.
    I am saving money and having fun as i fly by every gas station.

    Thanks for all you do.

  6. Tom Broderick says:

    I have also implemented a mostly solar EV solution. I purchased a Volt in Sept 2012, and added enough solar panels to my existing array to mostly power my Volt. My wife drives it 70 miles round trip to work, so she needs some gas on the way back. She is working on how to charge at work, but that will not eliminate the need for some gas. I use it for early morning or early evening errands, or on weekends for any errands. It is SO MUCH FUN to drive, but even more so knowing that solar is the energy being used for transportation, as well as my house electric needs, water heating and even some space heating.

  7. Brett Emes says:

    Randy,
    Love your message, and your car! I am trying to get the same message across here in Florida, my wife and I both drive Volts, both of them wrapped, her’s says RunsOnSun, mine “Let The Sun Fill Up Your Car”. WE have to keep delivering this message to as many people as possible. Keep up the great work!

    http://www.PVmyRide.com

    Brett & Deana Emes

  8. James and Claire Kirk says:

    Gary Matack used the acronyms CPV and LCOE. We are still out here with the rest of the unwashed peasants and we are requesting a definition of those common place terms of art.

    In the picture of your house, it looks like there is an array of 4 * 9 = 36 panels. On your estimated 4 year survey, they produced an average of 33.1 kW/day That is a little over a KW/day per panel. In a recent presentation, it was said that the panels could do 240 W but that is probably a peak power rating like at high noon. Are these numbers about right.
    What is the present unit cost of 240 W solar panels?..

    • Randy says:

      CPV is Concentrating Photo Voltaic, which uses mirrors to concentrate the sun light on a photo voltaic cell. LCOE is Life-Cycle Operational Expense.

      I have 36 solar panels in my solar power system and each panel is rated at a peak DC power of 215 Watts. I found Kyocera 215 W panels for sale at $434 each.

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