DR. ROBERT WILDER: Encinitas, CA
Runs his home and his Tesla on solar power, and tracks it with a live counter
"Seeing ‘Who Killed the Electric Car?’ stoked an inner fire because I knew the thesis of that film was right: electric vehicles (EVs) never deserved to die! This film was startling, really. Powers that be in autos & oil had done so much in their considerable control to convince us that EVs were silly, slow, could hardly make it uphill and were just a technological cul-de-sac. A century of conventional wisdom was that oil alone was all one might turn to and there really was no other option.
So everyone ‘knew’ cars went with oil, and we assumed that this fuel had to come from nations that didn’t like us (yet we enriched them), it put pollution into the air and acidified the seas, and was grossly distorting our country’s foreign policy.
Yet I felt in my gut this didn’t have to be. You see, my family had started producing our own energy years before. Powering our home with solar power, we added more solar panels just before that movie to run an incoming 2008 Tesla Roadster electric car. Happily this electric sports car is definitely not slow like a gasser. It is also much quicker than say, a typical BMW, wouldn’t need the gas, oil-changes, nor have the many limits gassers force on us like gears (even in automatic transmission) or brakes that simply heat to arrest momentum with regeneration.
They say revenge is a dish best served cold, but this EV puts a smile on my face every time! My Tesla is amazingly swift with gobs of torque and simply better than any gas car I’ve owned: it’s now hard to imagine going back to needing rock-oil to get around in a slow, polluting gasser. This 2008 Tesla powered by the sun turned out to be everything we’d hoped for, and more.
To generate power here at home, we harvest considerable electricity from the sun with PV (Photovoltaic = electricity making) panels. Totaling 6.65 kilowatts (kW) these are 'grid-tied' meaning we’re connected to the grid. In daylight we generally make more power than we consume, automatically 'selling' power into the grid for other members of our community.
I created a live counter for this at http://wildershares.com/solar.php
We make about 24 kilowatt hours (kWh) over an average sunny day, and call 24 kWh/day, one ‘Sun.’ Breaking that down over 24 hours, roughly 1 kWh is thus made each hour and we call that 1 kWh, one "sol." With a very fast first electric vehicle, we get about 3 miles of range from each kWh (3 miles per ‘sol’) in our typical driving (we get 0.330 kWh/mile).
Simply, our 24 kWh/Day means we can drive roughly 72 Miles Per day from Sunlight alone
Translating how far we go from sun power and seeing it’s 72 Miles Per Sun (MPS) or 3 miles per sol (3 m/sol), feels more intuitive and elegant than oily old MPG. Soon we’ll be adding an affordable Nissan LEAF to our mix, growing options for driving solar!"