PV+EV revolution

Edwards took delivery of an all-electric Tesla Roadster in July, when leading electric vehicle manufacturer Tesla Motors launched a gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea Art District .

Edwards also installed photovoltaic panels at home, joining the vanguard of the “PV+EV ” revolution.

“Finally my car is being fueled by the sun, not Sunoco, as I ‘ride free’ past gas stations,” Edwards said.

Edwards whips around Greenwich in a green Roadster with “SUN PWR” plates. The completion of my personal dream was achieved with the installation of a 10.8 kW array of photovoltaic panels from SunPower Corporation. In fact, to celebrate and promote the achievement I ordered “SUN PWR” license plates for my Roadster on a Greenways background. Finally my car is being fueled by the sun, not Sunoco, as I “ride free” past gas stations. The plates and the vehicle spark a ton of questions wherever I go and my passion for both shows when I answer them.

Thanks to a Connecticut Clean Energy Fund rebate, a federal energy tax rebate, and 16 cent-per-kilowatt energy from my power company, the solar system is economically viable. As a Realtor I know that adding PV to a house also enhances its value, but this wasn’t figured into my payback calculations. Neither were the gasoline and maintenance savings from the car. I’ll be happy to pick up another federal tax credit of $7,500 for my Roadster on my next tax return. I’ll also be happy to not have to pay exorbitant repair bills that are customary with a high-end sports car.

Solar Powered Electric Vehicle

My solar installer, Mercury Solar Systems in Port Chester, NY, recently hosted a “Solganic” party at one of their installations, an organic farm that has adopted solar energy as its main power source. When I arrived I was redirected from the parking area to a place in front of the solar-equipped barns. Like many Roadster owners, I was besieged with questions about the car and also how I used solar power to fuel it. The car, while coming from another millennium seemed to be at peace in these surroundings, curiously complementing and completing the environment.

Earlier this summer Joe Powers, a Sales Consultant for Tesla, asked me if I wouldn’t mind bringing my car to a charity auto show in Plainville, CT. I’m always eager to help promote the company and its products so I quickly agreed.

East Coast Tesla Roaster Rally

At the show I was greeted by Seth Cutler from GE. The car was an instant success and, according to Seth, the highlight of the show. With the knowledgeable people who go to these shows, I got a lot of detailed technical questions about the car, the technology and the company. It was a pleasure to be able to exhibit the car and answer questions about “tomorrow’s” technology today. (It’s only tomorrow’s technology if you’re from General Motors or Nissan.)

San Carlos, Calif.-based Tesla Motors is the only automaker producing and selling highway-capable electric vehicles. Tesla’s goal is to build increasingly affordable cars for mainstream buyers – relentlessly driving down EV costs.

Tesla sells cars online and has operations in New York City; California’s Silicon Valley and Los Angeles; Boulder, Colo.; Seattle; London and Munich.

With an EPA-estimated range of 244 miles per charge, the Roadster costs less than $5 to refuel and liberates owners from trips to the gas station and oil-change shop. It’s quicker than Porsche 911 yet twice as efficient : as a Prius.