Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Add to My MSN

Making A Difference: To EV Or Not To EV

8/21/2011 2:20:11 PM

Tags: Knoxville Electric Vehicle Association, electric vehicle, solar power, Ampmobile Conversions, Jeff Chaney

 Jeff with their one kilowatt arrayEverywhere you turn, all you hear is EV this and EV that. What is the true story? Lot’s of people think electric is not the answer. I disagree, and here is why.

Most people who disparage EV’s have never driven one. The same holds true for solar electric generation. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it! Also, by no means listen to the experts, or anyone else, tell about the pros and cons of the matter. Why not try the experience firsthand to see the result for yourself? I have never taken advice well, always having to find out for myself!

I advocate electric vehicles. But don’t take my word for it, just go play a round of golf this weekend at a course that uses electric golf carts. Rent a set of clubs, if need be, and enjoy the ride.

The first thing you notice is the stout acceleration. From a standing start, mash the go pedal to the floor. Cool, huh! Then, if your game is anything like mine, you ride the equivalent of fifty miles trying to find that goofy ball. There are usually some decent hills to traverse as well, depending on the course. For the adventurous, twenty-seven or even thirty-six holes may be in store. Do you have to interrupt the round to recharge the cart? No.

I have two electric golf carts that I use to travel around our twelve acre property, some of which is quite steep. I could not live without them. I sold two gas powered carts when gasoline prices spiked. Why buy gas, oil, filters, and spark plugs, when you don’t have to? The ongoing cost to operate the electric carts is $0, since I already have the solar array to charge them.

Our one kilowatt solar power system supports the battery charger just fine, ten months of the year. Every few years, a brake job or new batteries may be needed. I believe the cost savings result from not having someone raise the price every time the cart needs refueled, which can be as often as weekly. I don’t drive a new Jag., so why should I pay for one. Battery prices do rise over time, along with most everything else. But, I still think electric is the best overall strategy.

When considering vehicles, one must maintain a conventional gas car or truck for extended length trips. In some situations, a truck is the only tool to get the job done. An EV fits nicely as a supplement to the fleet. In addition to the aforementioned golf carts, I also own a pick-up truck, and a 200cc motorcycle that gets about ninety mpg, for trips around town.

The next time you get in the car, reset the trip meter, then take a reading upon return. Most trips, including to work, are less than fifty miles duration. Well within the range of some of today’s EV’s.

Another less expensive option (I love options, don’t you!) is to do or purchase a conversion. Gearheads can contact their local EV association, in my case, for assistance in all matters EV. These outstanding citizens are ready to assist you in any way.

We are planning a Nissan Leaf (all electric) test, and corresponding article, very soon. The resulting critique will be from everyday people that wander into the showroom to check the car out. We are not automotive test engineers. 

Change does not happen by talking about it. Get involved, take action! Life is a participant based contact sport. An easy way to get started is to recycle any and everything, when possible.

Visit us at: , & 


Related Content

EVCCON 2011 – 500 miles in a day (twice), in an EV

How I traveled 500 miles in 24 miles (twice) in an electric vehicle.

Making A Difference- Death Of A Good Friend

Demise of the Southern Energy and Environmental (See) Expo

Solar Energy Outlook: Extremely Sunny

Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as pric...

Environmental Problems Are No Match for Human Ingenuity, Part 2

With the inventiveness of visionaries like Elon Musk, technological advances can help create a bette...

Content Tools

Post a comment below.


Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.