Solar Powered Cars: A Seattle Reality


Those of you who follow Puget Sound Solar know that we are big proponents of electric-powered transportation.  We will be discussing this in more detail on this blog in the coming months because we would like to raise public awareness of the necessity of adopting EVs if we are to continue to drive cars.   The benefits of driving EVs are too many to delineate in one blog entry, as are the harms caused by driving gas guzzlers, so we’ll start with this teaser.

To refine one gallon of gasoline requires the consumption of about 8 kilowatt hours (kWh) of electricity, or enough power to run an EV for 28 miles.  Why not skip the gasoline part altogether and use that 8 kWh directly in an EV? While we are at it, let’s take the $4 you were going to spend on that gallon of gas, buy 40 kWh of electricity, and drive 140 miles.  Are you beginning to get the picture?

TNow, why not produce those 40 kWh with a solar power system? Powering family cars from energy produced on the roof of the family home in Seattle is not only a reality, it is quite easy to do.  The basis of this reality is the terrible wastefulness of internal combustion engines, and the high efficiency of electric motors.  A modest solar electric system can provide 10,000+ miles of driving each year. Here is that principal in action:

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