The way I see it, any plan for “going solar” in the Valley of the Sun must include transportation. That’s because The Valley is the penultimate example of urban sprawl in the United States (LA is, of course, the champion in the category).
Before the bubble burst, when gas was cheap(er) and Phoenix was flush with real estate funny-money, the highways were jammed with Hummers and Escalades (often with no passengers) driving back and forth across the Valley.
Ah, those were the days!
Things have changed some, post bubble-burst. The main change for me came with last December’s opening of our very own Impossible Dream — a sleak, fast, efficent, and all-electric light rail system. Huzzah!
Our son is thriving at the Arizona School for the Arts which is, unfortunately, a 10.5 mile round trip each day. Since we carpool, I only made that drive 2.5 times a week. (M, F and every other Wednesday). Now he takes the light rail from school to a station that’s just a 3 mile round trip from our house.
The light rail has already allowed me to slash my school-related driving from over 26 miles/week to 7.5 miles/week. (The latest estimate I heard was that 35,000 Phoenicians ride the light rail every day.)
Still, there are many other times I need to use my car to get to places where the light rail doesn’t go. Which all leads up to this: Wouldn’t it be cool if I could generate enough electricity using solar panels to power an electric car?
I can answer that one! Yes!
When we return (Ok, when I got the danged time) I’ll explore the options for making that happen.