Solar Powered Cars: A Seattle Reality

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Oct 17, 2012

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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About The Author - Jeremy Smithson

Started Puget Sound Solar in 2001 with 30 years of construction contracting experience, and a desire to turn Seattle on to solar energy. Achieving NABCEP certification in 2004, Jeremy believes that our customers often follow a path similar to the one he took, starting out with solar daydreaming, then progressing to education on the subject, and eventually leading to action. In addition to leading the company he also does some teaching and speaking engagements about various aspects of solar energy, and experiments relentlessly with various solar, energy efficiency, and electric vehicle projects.

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