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View Diary: Off Grid: Utilities? We don't need no stinkin' utilities. (59 comments)

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  •  do a financial analysis on the volt. (2+ / 0-)
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    artmanfromcanuckistan, SolarMom

    A friend of mine had a paid for BMW 350, but,
    it was chowing $500/month in gas.

    So she looked at getting a volt, she got it on lease for $350/month, and shes' saving $150/month.

    if you look at your loaded costs, the volt looks very interesting

    •  glad it works for your friend (1+ / 0-)
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      Although here in Ontario for me maybe not so much, yet.

      I don't drive that much, so I pay maybe $120 / mo on gas, and all of the plug in cars here are in the $400-$700 price range (not including the Tesla Model S)

      We live downtown, so we use the car mainly for groceries and periodic trips to other cities or vacations.

      I use about 100L per month on average, so even if I could get to fully electric, that would cut my emissions by 240kg/month. But not fully actually, because for my business I need to move large paintings occasionally, so I'd need to rent a van, and for vacations we'd need to rent a larger vehicle longer distance vehicle too, or use the gas part of the plug in hybrid.

      Even if I could get it down to 100kg/month, that would be a fair amount to reduce. However, if that's costing me $400 / month, it might be a lot better to put a small amount per month into funding solar power in the developing world.

      The real question is how much of a carbon reduction does this kind of investing make? I haven't figured out how much of a reduction that makes yet, but helping to take diesel generators and kerosene lamps off line seems like it would be a really good bang for the buck.

      And as always, in a big picture sense, personal changes are good and nice, but the climate problem is so serious that it's only going to be concerted political efforts that are going to make a real difference.

      •  We just bought a Volt (1+ / 0-)
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        We got it this week.  

        While I agree that solar in the third world, and other such investments, probably do more for the planet, we also want to walk the walk as much as we can. (We have solar on our roof as well, but are not off grid).

        In our case, my husband and I drive 17 miles each way to work We work in the same place, but because of kids we haven't been able to commute together until this year (staggered hours), but now we can drive together about half the time.

        The other half of the time he is now substituting the Volt for our old minivan, and I will continue to drive my Prius.

        So the Volt will significantly cut our fuel use. I don't think it will help our finances, as it is a more expensive car than we've ever bought before, but we can afford it, so we did it.

        We still have the minivan - our high schoolers drive to school in it, but that's only 2 miles from home (we live on a rural road, and neither the school bus nor biking is a viable option for them).

        We all do what we can.

        “Better the occasional faults of a government that lives in a spirit of charity than the consistent omissions of a government frozen in the ice of its own indifference.” -- FDR, 1936

        by SolarMom on Tue Mar 12, 2013 at 08:40:07 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Congrats! (1+ / 0-)
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          That's great that you got a Volt. I'm happy every time I see one driving around. Or a Leaf, or a plug in Ford. (Haven't seen a plug in Prius or a Tesla yet, but hope to soon!) Everybody chipping in bit by bit like that drives a sea change, and I think that's where there's a lot of value in making purchases like that.

          The more people see plug in and electric cars driving around and wind turbines and solar panels powering their lives, the process of fossil fuel divestment will become less and less frightening and more and more of an everyday thing.

          It also sends a signal to car companies and power utilities, which can only be a good thing.

          For now I'm going to try to get around to figuring out what are the various costs per ton of carbon emissions reductions, and hopefully I'll have time to post a diary for that.


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