Electric Cars

CO2 payback of solar panels and an electric car

Submitted by Greg on Sun, 01/01/2012 - 19:03

There have been a lot of studies and comparisons on the savings of CO2 emissions when pv solar panels are used in place of electricity from a utility company; however, since different solar panel manufacturers use different manufacturing techniques, and different kinds of power plants produce differing amounts of CO2, the results of these comparisons can vary widely.

Electric car home-charger options

Submitted by Greg on Tue, 10/18/2011 - 16:48

If you buy your car home charger through Nissan's program, you must use one of their installers.  Their minimum price with installation is around $2500, which can be excessive if you only need a little bit of electrical work done.

Another option would be to buy your own home car charger from Leviton:


Estimating your electric car's kWhr consumption

Submitted by Greg on Wed, 09/14/2011 - 05:18

One of the most frequent questions I get about my Leaf is "how far does it go", or equivalently, "how much electricity does it use?"  Both questions hinge on the electrical consumption of the car.  "How far does it go" is equal to total capacity (24 kW·h) divided by consumption, and "how much electricity does it use" is equal to your total driving distance times  consumption. The leaf expresses electrical consumption by the reciprocal quantity, miles per kW·h, so those are the units I will use as well.

Using PG&E online usage history to measure electric car's consumption level

Submitted by Greg on Tue, 08/16/2011 - 04:49

PG&E has a great online utility that will show you your hour-by-hour electrical consumption, directly from your smart meter.  The image below is a screenshot of the first full charge of my leaf, done around 4am after driving to work and back the day before.

My leaf has arrived!

Submitted by Greg on Sat, 08/13/2011 - 20:51

I did not get it in time for Christmas, but my long wait is over -- my Leaf has arrived -- in the garage, plugged in and charging up!  I've been on Nissan's waiting list since June of last year, but I have actually been looking forward to buying an electric car for much longer than that.  Back when my previous car was about seven years old, I fi

All I want for Christmas is a NISSAN LEAF!

Submitted by Greg on Sat, 12/19/2009 - 20:10

I don't know what I want for Christmas this year, but I'm starting my 2010 list early.  A few weeks ago I went and saw the Nissan Leaf at Nissan's "Zero Emissions Tour" in San Jose, and I must say I'm pretty excited about it.  It's been a long wait for an all-electric commuter car that can do more than my 80-mile round-trip jaunt to work without the price tag of a Tesla Roadster.  The Nissan Leaf, with an advertised range of 100 miles  for a price somewhere a

Where are the electric cars?

Submitted by Greg on Sun, 04/12/2009 - 05:05

Back in February, my sister sent me a link to the electric car company Miles EV.  On their website, they featured a 100+ mile range highway-speed fully-electric car with an estimated MSRP under $40,000 that they said would be ready to test drive sometime in August, and would be available for sale sometime early in 2010.  It is now gone from their website, which currently is only featuring a few small low-speed cars and trucks.