PV2EV* AT SAND RIVER
*Photovoltaics to electric vehicles
Sand River initiated a virtual
car-sharing project in 2010 to examine
the community's driving needs as well as the logistics of organizing a car-sharing group. Project results showed that residents collectively drive less than 100 miles per day, meaning that an envisioned fleet of shared cars only needs to include
a few extended-range cars while most
can be all-electric.
Sand River's electric-car-sharing group with the Nissan Leaf, powered by the solar panels on the common house
Visionary synergy in action
INSTALLING PHOTOVOLTAICS First, a third-party investor group was created to fund the common house solar installation with the help of Dan Baker, a PV-financing and gas-to-electric car-conversion consultant. Next, Positive Energy Solar installed a 5.52-kw grid-tied, photovoltaic (PV) system, which offsets all electricity used in the common house and generates enough additional electricity to offset daily use of three to four electric vehicles.
In October 2012, Sand River celebrated its new PV installation. This festive event, with music by Sand River resident Dick Cramer and The Santa Fe Chiles, was attended by the Sand River community, neighbors, contractors, conservation groups, and local dignitaries—including Senator Jeff Bingaman.
PV2EV In November 2012, PV2EV was formed as a limited-liability corporation owning the shared electric vehicle(s). PV2EV leased an electric Nissan LEAF, which is shared among six households. More recently, a subgroup of the six began sharing two of their three conventional cars, including one hybrid, in effect creating a small fleet of cars with capability for longer trips than the LEAF can accommodate.
EXPANSION PV2EV hopes to add more electric and conventional cars as well as additional members of Sand River to the car-sharing LLC. The group is exploring the possibility of a potential investor, such as an electric-vehicle manufacturer or dealer, a funding organization, or even an individual, to further this stage of the plan.
CREATING A MODEL When the plan is fully implemented, it will serve as a powerful teaching tool for other communities who wish to move toward a more sustainable way of life. PV2EV hopes to share its experience and help others reduce their carbon footprint.