I had solar panels installed on my house early last year. My solar panels generated 73% of my power usage and saved me over $1000. We’re now about halfway through this year and so far I’m 84% solar. Last week I had a few more panels installed, which should bring me close to generating 100% of my power usage. The price of the solar panels should break even with the amount I save in electricity in about 7 years.
Another benefit of this is my Tesla now runs primarily on free solar power. I don’t have to worry about gas prices anymore. Even if I didn’t have solar panels, the electricity to power my car costs a fraction of what it costs to fill up a gas tank. It would cost me less than $10 in electricity from FPL to fill up my ‘tank.’ To put another way, the cost of a single fill-up on a 20-gallon gas tank right now would pay for a month of driving on my electric car.
The Sierra Club is working to get cities around the world pledge to switch city operations to 100% renewable energy by 2035. It’s called the Ready for 100 pledge and there is a petition to get the City of Melbourne to join in. As part of the pledge, a board would be formed to formulate a plan for how to achieve the 100% goal. This would likely include a mix of installing solar panels and switching to electric vehicles. Switching to renewables would save the city money and save taxpayers money. It just makes financial sense.
There’s also a related petition to the mayors of all Brevard County cities. Cities contribute about 70% of all energy-related emissions. By getting cities to pledge to convert city operations to 100% renewable energy by 2035 and all city activities by 2050, that would make a big dent in lowering emissions that pollute our air & water.
Hopefully by now most electric vehicle drivers, owners, enthusiasts and potential owners have heard of National Drive Electric Week (formally National Plug in Day) hosted by City Captains in towns and cities all over the United States and abroad. National Drive Electric Week began in 2011 as National Plug in Day and is officially sponsored by Plug in America, the Electric Auto Association, and the Sierra Club.
National Drive Electric Week aims to “…Heighten awareness of today’s widespread availability of plug-in vehicles and highlight the benefits of all-electric and plug-in hybrid-electric cars, trucks, motorcycles, and more.” This year National Drive Electric Week will be held from September 15-21, 2014 with events happening across America and beyond through out the week. We are happy to say there will be an event held in Melbourne, Florida and as your city captains Josh and Brenna are working to make this event a great success. Josh and Brenna have hosted two successful National plug in Day events in Huntsville, Alabama with their sister group the Tennessee Valley EV Drivers in 2012 and 2013. Using their experience from these events they hope to make Melbourne’s first National Drive Electric Week a huge success.
Over the next few months we will be looking to area volunteers, sponsors and donors to be a part of this grass roots celebration of electric vehicles. The very first goal is to secure a location and today we pitched our request for sponsorship to the City of Melbourne. In the next few weeks the Space Coast Electric Vehicle Drivers team will work to answer any questions the city has to hopefully secure a city sponsored location and more.
First, we would like to thank everyone who made it to the first Space Coast Electric Vehicle Drivers monthly meet up. It was a perfect day to park our cars at the level 3 charger in downtown Melbourne, Fl and walk over to Meg O’Malleys for a late lunch.
We love the idea that the cars are parked together and are easy to view so people walking by can see electric vehicles of all types in their town. It is a great way to show the town we are here, we are using the newly installed infrastructure, and we will make a point to gather in locations that add electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) such as the new CHAdeMO charging station. (Especially when they are located in truly convenient areas of town with easy access to amenities.)
So now we are sure you are asking yourself “what did I miss?” As if the opportunity to dine on some of Melbourne’s most delicious French onion soup wasn’t enough here are the details. We spent the time discussing our cars, talking about upcoming events, discussing outreach opportunities, what we all do for work, how good the crab cake appetizer is, how we ended up in Melbourne, strange or fun experiences you have had interacting with the public in regards to your electric vehicle, how good this half a rack of ribs is, lots of talk about flying planes (commercial and private), and much, much more.
Couldn’t make it this month? No problem, there is always next month. So save the date for the first Sunday in June which happens to be June 1st at Squid Lips in Melbourne. Be sure to check the website. We look forward to seeing you at the next meet up.