Continuing to show itself keen on renewable energy, Chevrolet is featuring some of its Volt owners who are using their own solar power to recharge their electric cars.
One of these is Mark Hildebrandt who has been focused on clean energy since the 1970s. He now owns a company that installs solar panels – so naturally he relies on sun power to create the electricity for his primary needs.
“I made the switch to renewable energy a while ago, and thus with solar energy, I can power my house, charge my Volt and pump energy back into the grid, which I get credit for,” said Hildebrandt, owner of Sunventrix in Saline, Mich., and one of the first Volt purchasers in the state.
“As more Volts are sold, I believe the demand for solar charging stations will increase,” he said. “I have spoken to a handful of Volt owners in Michigan that are really interested in charging their Volts from solar energy.”
Another Volt driver using the sun for battery power is ZD Wines‘ winemaster and CEO, Robert deLeuze. He has powered his Napa, Calif.-based winery exclusively on solar power since 2007. GM notes deLeuze often parks his Volt among the grape vines to recharge from the winery’s photovoltaic system.
As has been recently published, Chevrolet says OnStar data is showing the Volt is being used as intended – drivers are staying off of gasoline as much as possible so that 1,000 miles between fill-ups is the average.
“The majority of miles driven by Volt customers are powered electrically by the Volt’s battery,” said Cristi Landy, Volt marketing director.
And while we are unsure of the cost-benefit math in the new six-acre solar array at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly plant, and solar-powered charging facilities as well, it seems clear Chevrolet is reaping a publicity payback as it reinforces its commitment toward a greener public image.
GM says the “home of the Volt, is already using sunlight to charge Volts before they are loaded for transport to dealerships. The plant has a 20kW Solar Carport that houses 10 Volt charging stations. Additional charging stations are planned for other locations around the plant.”
How about you, GM-Volt readers? We know a few of you are also keen on solar energy. For those who have actually installed solar panels, have they proven a good value? Have they paid for themselves yet? How long did it take, if so? Was the payback over a lengthy time span, reasonably quick, or have you yet to break even?
With developments and decreasing costs, do you agree more and more will see the value of solar, and go off the grid with their own array(s) as time passes?
This entry was posted on Monday, May 30th, 2011 at 5:55 am and is filed under General. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.