Saturday, April 12, 2014

Solar Electricity, The Low Cost Fuel

If you're a gas car driver, you might want to look away :)

About the chart:

The chart is a simple comparison of the fueling cost of two gasoline cars compared to two electric cars and the conveyance systems for both sources of energy. 

Both oil and sunshine begin as free natural resources.

The transmission grid in not depicted for Solar PV.  The road system and harbor system is not depicted for crude oil.

I have chosen the BMW 3 series for average MPG and the BMW i3 for average miles per kwh.  The chart would be different if you compared a Prius, an F150 or a Tesla Model S. 

It could be reasonably argued that maintenance and repairs and the life of the vehicle would be better for either the gas car or the electric car, and are not figured into this chart, only the fueling cost is considered.

Over the 25 years both the electric and the gas car will become more efficient.

Today, at my neighborhood gas station in Carlsbad, regular unleaded was $4.39 a gallon,  I used $4.25 a gallon.

The 9.2 annual increase in the cost of gasoline for the past 10 years is from the US energy information office.  In 2004 gasoline was $1.51 a gallon and in 2014 gasoline is $3.60 a gallon US average.

I believe the regulatory environment will continue to get tougher for gasoline and that sources of crude oil will get harder and more expensive to find.  It could be argued that the percentage rate of increase will be lower in the future or higher in the future.

The average US Household spent $2912 dollars on gasoline in 2012.

Solar PV panels are warranted for 25 years,  micro inverters are warranted for 25 years. Both the panels and the inverters will perform far past the 25 year mark with no replacement cost.

Financing cost are not figured into the cost of the solar PV system. If including finance charges, they should only be used for the first 3 years. At 3 years you have spent as much on gasoline as the cost of the Solar PV, typically we pay cash for our gasoline purchases. 

Now you know why Elon Musk can give away solar supplied electricity for all Tesla Model S drivers :)

As I prep for our year long energy challenge of two cars, one home, powered by sunshine, I thought I would share with you what the last week looked like.
It's a typical April week for us living and driving our two electric cars.

We averaged -14 kwh per day for the week.

You can live and drive on sunshine.

Editor’s Note,  Peder is the Chairman of the San Diego County Planning Commission. His wife Julie is Director of Curriculum and Instruction at the Solana Beach School District.  They have been Felid Trial drivers for BMW for five years.  Together since 2009, they have driven 95,000 EV miles powered from roof top solar.


  1. That is so cute, I would of never thought of that. I am definitely making me one or maybe a few! Lolsolar panels

  2. I am very happy to read such a wonderful blog which gives the helpful information thanks for sharing this power