"Ride Free" - That's My Motto
I’m a Realtor from Greenwich, CT and I’ve been passionately following the development of electric vehicles for over ten years. I voted with my wallet in November of 2007 with a $5,000 deposit on a Tesla Roadster since it was by far the best alternative for me then, and it still is today. My Roadster was delivered on July 27, 2009 after the Plycar driver notified me that he was approaching my house. My wife, Ann, and son, Scott, pictured below were very excited to receive this present from the automotive gods.
The green in Greenwich got a little brighter that day as I drove up my driveway and plugged my new mode of transportation into the 240v outlet my electrician wired in my hybrid garage (the other side is for my gasoline car – at least until my Model S arrives). My passion for EVs centers around six dimensions of interest:
- pushing the envelope of automotive and information technology,
- linking alternative forms of energy with transportation,
- achieving personal energy independence,
- ending foreign oil dependency and all that it has brought us (I was in the World Trade Center for both bombings),
- cleaning up our environment, and
- achieving excellence in automotive design, especially for sports cars.
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.
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.
At the show I was greeted by Seth Cutler from GE (left in photo below). 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.)