Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Rays Per Gallon

When Dow announced last September they were hiring 100 to produce the PowerHouse solar shingle, I said this:

After all, wouldn't it be great to plug your new electric car into your renewable energy home?

It's already here.

(Mark) Hildebrandt and his wife, Lorna, took delivery of their new Volt on Monday at Bill Crispin Chevrolet in Saline. It was the first Volt sold in Washtenaw County.

“It’s very exciting,” Lorna Hildebrandt said as she took pictures of Mark getting into the car for his first drive in the vehicle.


In fact, leading the way in greener energy use is nothing new for Hildebrandt, who had solar panels put on his Saline home over a year ago. Since then, he's made the technology his profession. Hildebrandt is the owner of Sunventrix Solar Company, specializing in solar electric systems for commercial and residential use.

“We are 100 percent solar at home, so basically, we will be getting all of our mileage from the sun," he said. "We’re going to plug into solar, power up the Volt at night, and then be able to use it during the day basically on sunlight alone.”

Not feasible for everyone right now, of course, but very encouraging nonetheless.

WWJ's auto reporter Jeff Gilbert spent a week with the Volt to report on "everyday life" driving, and he found that the little trips tend to add up and it was hard to have a complete electric day. Go read to see how it went - very interesting day-by-day account of the ordinary life situations he encountered with driving a Volt.

And today, GM announced that they are planning a 2nd shift/1000 jobs at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant starting late this year to ramp up production of the Volt in 2012. By then they should have some of the kinks worked out... and maybe more people will have solar panels on their homes. You can still get a federal credit for installing them at this point, but that might change if certain people get their way...