Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Month 10, Back to the Future, Back Below Zero

The day in our collective technological evolution is here when you can live in a home and drive two cars typical mileage with no utility cost and no gasoline cost.  All powered by the sunshine harvested on the roof of the home.

More importantly you can do so at 15% the overall cost as compared to utility supplied electricity, and gasoline purchased at the gas station.  With this emission free combination, you can reduce your overall GHG emissions from 40 tons per year per household to two or three tons per year.

The info chart that the Koch Brothers don't want you to see.

It’s clear to us after month 10 and once again going below the zero line (we are producing more than we are using for our home and cars) that we will end the year with credits for 9 months and cost for 3 months resulting in an annual energy credit of $650 - $700.  Our overall net usage will be around 600 kwh. 

You can see when we took a 4 day vacation away from home

It's also clear that in in the near future, batteries will hold higher densities of energy and will be less expensive, electric cars will become less expensive and go farther, and Solar PV will become less expensive and produce more electricity. 

So this is not mission accomplished and as good as it gets... but rather mission started and it will become even better in the future.

As the year unfolded it became clear that we would be driving 23,000 miles not 20,000 miles as planned, and we had a French exchange student living with us for several months. A few other anomalies in the year led to higher usage than anticipated.  These extra miles and extra persons will in all likelihood push us just slightly in the plus category for overall energy usage for the year.  Life is a grand adventure and unpredictable.

Still two months to go so we will see :)  Feeling awesome!


For the last several years we have been a two EV family and we have not used any gasoline in our day-to-day lives.  However, the rest of our transportation system is not at the same place we are, so when we vacation three or four weeks a year, we are using gas. 

Planes, trains, boats, buses and car rentals we take when on vacation and when we do we are burning fossil fuels.   During the past several years we have taken one or two road trips a year renting or swapping cars with a family member.

BMW i8 in the house!

It’s rather like a dream, but this month we took delivery of our third car, the BMW i8.  Yes it uses gas and yes we have taken it on an epic road trip across the Southwest during a vacation. This is no different than any previous years road trip except for the i8 is a plug in hybrid with better gas milage.

For the remainder of the year the i8 will be a weekend car with the i3 as my daily driver.  In a few weeks I’ll post about why we bought a BMW i8.

Sunshine is a transportation fuel.

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