Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A dreamer is only a dreamer, until the day one looks out the window of reality, upon their own dream.

Happy New Year.  

2014 "feels real" in the EV space, and that makes me both happy and extremely optimistic for our future.

I am so proud and happy for BMW, that this will be the year they launch the BMW i3 in the USA.  Julie and I have participated with BMW during the past 5 years,  driving  two cars as field trial drivers, lab rats if you must,  pioneering the way towards a better way to motor. In the beginning it was a rudimentary experiment with no promise of anything more than a year driving a prototype hotrod.  In the end, it could very well change the way we as Americans, decide on our mobility choices from this point forward.

I am overjoyed at the initial reception of the BMW i3 and I compliment BMW for sticking to an engineering based solution even though some lament the exterior design as love it or leave it.  The car is a moon shot for transportation and the largest leap in motive technology with BMW’s use of carbon fiber construction, since the 1908 Model T from Ford.   CFRP is the huge leap forward; lightness equaling performance and efficiency.

My 75 year old aunt and uncle, Krista and Alf, visited us from Denmark in October.   They have been avid readers of this blog and our home building page the past few years.  As I showed them around a project I am working on they informed me that they had just purchased a Ford CMAX Energi  and have been plugging it in every night.    I’ll try not to get to sentimental but I cried a little when I heard my own family in Denmark and 75 year olds to boot, are now driving on electricity from renewable energy, in Denmark’s case it’s wind.

In December my older brother called me,  Should I buy a Ford Fusion Energi, Honda Accord Plug in or wait the BMW i3?  I told him to go for the BMW i3 of course but that any of the options were grand! The point is he is buying a plug in!

Some perspective is in order.  In 2007 when we went solar and began driving the Gem E-4 powered by sunshine, (the original Sungas) we were looked at by our neighbors and family as a little loony in a mad scientist sort of way. 

In 2009 with the BMW Mini-E, being one of the first few hundred to drive an electric car, one of the first few dozen to have the car powered by solar energy, the look was one of puzzlement and non understanding, What? from those panels to the plug in your car? The status quo is hard to shake off.  

In 2013 it’s a call to one of several carmakers and one of hundreds of solar pv providers and you’re there. No sweat.

What a grand difference five short years can make.  Which leads me to my ultimate thought.  Can you imagine what the next 5 years will bring?  It’s hard for even me to comprehend the changes coming in the next 5 years and I am an irrepressible dreamer.

My favorite quote is:  “A dreamer is only a dreamer until the day one looks out the window of reality, upon their own dream.“   

I wrote it after building our home in 2006, looking out over the lagoon from our new kitchen window. 

Julie and I have set an extremely ambitious goal, a dream,  as a family for the year 2014.

We will attempt to be a home with two cars in the garage, completely powered by solar energy.  We will attempt to generate the same energy in kwhs  that is required to power our home and our two cars in the garage from the sunshine that falls on our roof.  Zero utility bill and zero gasoline cost to drive a combined 24,000 miles.

What makes this all the more fun is that our Solar PV system was installed in 2007 and is already paid off completely as of April of 2012.   It is the efficiency of the BMW i3 and a slightly less lengthy commute for me that will push us below zero.

This is way beyond a net zero energy home, (we accomplished that in 2007) we don’t even know what to call it?  Minus 2 Home? (any help in what to call it would be appreciated) 

What we do know is that we can try do it.  I'm sure in the beginning we will first be looked at as a little loony, then with puzzlement, then with family and friends wanting to do the same.

My dream for 2014,  Is that we can walk a new a path where in a few short decades or a few short years, it will become normal for American families to be self reliant and power their homes and transportation choices from the sunshine harvested on their own roof.

We will record our journey, we will document our journey, we will share our journey. It begins the day the BMW i3(s) land in our garage.

Dream with me J

Cheers!  Happy New Year!

Peder & Julie

1 comment:

  1. Peder and Julie,

    Great dream...

    I tried to add more panels to my setup to support the addition to our EV fleet. Alas, the issue of space took out that part of the dream. Producing between 20-40kwh on our current array (depending on season, etc.) for the first year with just the ActiveE, we overproduced. But now... Looks like SCE will be getting some of our money.

    Then again, hard to fully offset 160ish miles per day of EV driving between the two EVs.

    Here's to the dream. Perhaps our next house will get a bigger array. In the meantime... Trying my darndest.