Electric Vehicles (EV) and Solar

Cars and trucks consume a lot of energy. 29% of the Washington State’s total energy consumption, to be exact. The majority of this energy is from fossil fuels, the burning of which is causing increasing climate instability. Artisan’s raison d’être is help fight climate change by competing agains fossil fuels. Hence, we want to solarize your transportation, not just your home.

Unlike coal and nuclear-rich areas of our country, Electric vehicles are a no-brainer for Puget Sound residents. We have the cheapest power in the country because 62% of it comes from hydro-power. 7% is coming from other renewables, mainly wind. Hydro has it’s own environmental problems, to be sure, but it’s much better than the alternatives making up the rest of our energy mix: coal, oil, gas, and nuclear.

We can already save big $ every week by simply not going to the gas station and instead having a slightly higher electric bill. The average EV uses 3,000kWh/year. That’s roughly $300/year in electricity for us. The average gas-powered car in Washington uses $3,000/year in gas. So, we pay 10X more for the privilege of supporting some of the worst companies on the planet and contributing to what we all want to prevent.

Now, add solar. You replace the utility’s fuel mix with 100% renewable energy. You replace utility rate increases with 100% stable power rates. That 3,000kWh/year electric usage could be supplied by a 3kW solar system, taking up 200 square feet. This will cost anywhere between $12-15K, before rebates and will give you 40 plus years of power. So, permanent renewable fuel on your roof, powering your plugged-in car a few feet away. If you factor in the amount of money you are saving at the pump as well as all the rebates and incentives for solar, your return on investment (ROI) goes to under 5 years. WOW.

Not only does Artisan prewire for and install EV charging stations, we are now proud EV owners. We introduced two new Nissan Leaf EVs to our fleet this year. Several of us also have EVs at home. We are working with our building owner to install solar this year to close the loop. It’s a humble beginning, but our company’s goal is to have 100% fossil fuel free transportation by 2020.

A recent Nissan Leaf commercial I heard stated: “the question is no longer ‘why electric?’ It’s ‘why gas?’” This question would not have made much since until a few years ago. While we can’t erase the path that the world has taken for over 100 years towards more and more internal combustion engines (although it’s fun to imagine the “what if”), we have choices now and can start asking “why.” A colleague of ours, Jeremy Smithson, had a shirt on the other day saying, “Gas is so Embarrassing. ” That’s how I feel every morning when our fleet of diesel vans, advertising us a renewable energy company, leaves the parking lot. Thankfully, the solution is here.

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