I live in a Solar grid-tied home with a system I installed myself before net-metering or incentives. I then talked with our local power company at their environmental meetings and got them to offer other new solar users both net-metering at the even retail rate and incentives.
I have been a member of the San Deigo and then Phoenix EAA for over 9 years. I have been president of the local Phoenix chapter for 3 years. It's because of my interest and ethousiasum that I am president not by get talent or ability. I really believe there is a better way of transportation. The automakers don't have that core belief. I think smaller comapnies like AC Propusions will make it happen.
Hybrids are the greatest way to help EVeryone see the benefit of battery electric. Plugin hybrids are the closest step to all electric and EVen provide some extra benefits a pure EV can't. They help us develope better batteries one step at a time. They allow us to use cleaner bio-fuels which aren't plentiful enough on their own. They allow us to only charge off peak so we don't kill the grid or cause more powr plants to be added to meet demand.
To help connect to the rest of the world I talk at auto club meetings and schools about solar and EVs as well as cleaner green biofuels. I feel it is the only way to slowly and properly switch over to EVs.
On pure electric vehicles I don't like wet cell lead acid batteries. They are cheap but unsafe. Only sealed lead acid and gels are good. The next best is NiMH and the best is lithium. Small light EVs are the best choice so we don't EVen waste clean power. I have many clean vehicles. My main driver is my bicycle, I have a Twike NiMH on order for June 2006, I also have a Jeep kitcar EV and a 92 Ford Escort from the hybrid college competition in 1995 I am restoring.
I also speak at Solar group meetings about clean green transportation. I have been trying to get the national ASES American Solar Energy Society to include clean EVs in their home tours. My home has been on the tour 5 years since 2001. I have included clean vehicles each time. I teach a solar class at a local community college for free to help people understand energy and renewables as well as clean transportation.
We have to just do the right thing and not wait for rebates or incetives. It's not always the cheapest thing to do that is best for the environment and country. We have to be leaders that walk the talk and tell about what is right.
--Jim Stack, Chadler AZ