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Solar panel your garage, not your car, experts say

Cars retrofitted with solar panels might extend the gas-free drive of an electric car but a solar retrofit for your garage can mean free electric power to fully charge the car battery in the first place.

“Free” can require an initial investment of $22,644 for a two-car solar garage port. But consider the payback. The price tag is the equivalent to about 404 fill-ups of gas, or 3 years of fills at two a week costing $4 a gallon for an average 14-gallon gas tank.

The investment makes sense to a growing number of drivers as the demand for alternative vehicles increases, individuals and companies are trying almost anything to save on gas, emissions linked to climate change and energy costs.

Jerry Asher of the Electric Vehicle Association of Greater Washington D.C. (EVA/DC) said he is one of the many believers in living a green lifestyle.

Asher has taken several trips in alternative vehicles across the country in 2008, 2009, 2011, and is planning yet another trip this year.

In 2008, Asher drove through all 48 state capitals in the EVA/DC’s PHEV Toyota Prius known as the Spirit of D.C. For all trips, Asher has driven a different vehicle to make a statement about alternative energy, rally support and advocate for electric vehicles.

With increasing greenhouse gas emissions in the environment, it is no wonder the Midwest has flooded so badly in past years and the country is sweltering, Asher said. Scientists warn that the earth is warming faster than previously thought.
More ]medill.northwestern.edu

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