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The Fossil Fuel Free Tesla....

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by nwdiver, May 12, 2015.

  1. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

    Feb 17, 2013
    United States
    I was at the grocery store yesterday and they were doing a charity drive; I'm sure everyone has seen this where they ask if you'd like to donate at the checkout. This gave me an idea... what if Tesla added a block on their design page that allowed you to displace a certain number of miles driven with solar? This could be as an investment in Solar City Bonds OR as a donation to an organization like Grid Alternatives.

    Most of us live in a bit of a microcosm... even compared to other Tesla owners. If you're reading this then you probably have a pretty good idea how much solar it takes to off-set 12k/yr miles of driving. The average Tesla owner probably doesn't and John-Q-Public generally has no clue what a kWh is... I've asked. I suspect that most people would be surprised that ~$5k worth of solar buys a lifetime of driving.... Thoughts?
  2. mspohr

    mspohr Active Member

    Jul 27, 2014
    #2 mspohr, May 12, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 12, 2015
    I absolutely hate it when I go to the grocery or any other store and they are panhandling me for a few bucks for some "worthy cause". I have my own list of worthy causes and it doesn't usually include the charity of the week at the grocers. Makes me want to not want to shop at that store... ever. These things just seem to be a scam.
    Want to save the planet? Get solar panels.
    I also have solar panels which generate more power than my Tesla uses.
  3. Robert.Boston

    Robert.Boston Model S VIN P01536

    Oct 7, 2011
    Portland, Maine, USA
    What an interesting idea. To summarize and restate:
    • Include this on the Design Studio as an option, with levels of $1,000 to $5,000. Label these as "Displace carbon from 20,000 miles/40,000 miles" etc.
    • Including this into the car price allows it to be financed or covered in the lease payment.
    • Direct the money to a 401(c)(3) organization, e.g. Grid Alternatives, so that buyers can claim the tax deduction

    - - - Updated - - -

    While I agree with you, it's because it's harder to say "no" to a live person. If this is a check box in the Design Studio, it doesn't seem as personal. Some airlines allow you to buy carbon offset credits along with your plane ticket; very similar idea here.
    Not everyone can install solar; neither of my properties has access to a sunny roof. If you're already generating your own power, you'd just skip by this Design Studio option knowing that you were already covered. Me? I might have bought some solar miles.
  4. beeeerock

    beeeerock Active Member

    Mar 12, 2015
    Kamloops BC Canada
    So what you're suggesting, in a sense, is a community solar project, but not necessarily local? You are buying the panels but donating them to the cause, knowing that you've actually offset (or paid for) the power generation for the life of the car (and perhaps longer)?

    If I'm understanding it correctly, then I think it's an interesting idea.

    And if Tesla created a company like Bullfrog Power (Bullfrog Power - Canada's 100% green energy provider), then they could be installing the panels on your behalf and you would somehow obtain your generated power to your home via an account with them. You wouldn't be making a donation, but rather supplementing a larger system that might give you some sort of financial break on your utility bill. Maybe a bit like SolarCity, but in a few centralized locations (rather than on your roof). I haven't fully thought out that idea, but it tickles my brain like something that might also work... but with actual payback to the panel buyers. Almost like a remote-location lease or something.

    With all the desert space around the Gigafactory, perhaps that blue grouping of pixels on the Powerwall presentation could grow sooner than later...

  5. gavine

    gavine Petrol Head turned EV Enthusiast

    Apr 1, 2014
    Southern New Jersey
    How about directing the donation to solar panels and battery storage for superchargers? Not only would that be off-setting carbon, but it would also be helping Tesla fortify the network. I realize that superchargers are supposedly already being offset by off-site solar, but onsite solar at superchargers makes such a green statement. I have to admit that I'm a little disappointed in how few supercharger stations have onsite solar. When I first learned about superchargers, I assumed all of them would have it. I'm sure that once the network is complete, they will start adding battery storage and solar to all but the donation could accelerate that.

    Next year, if the 55,000 new Tesla buyers each donated $100, that would be $5.5M, which would buy a lot of solar for superchargers. Maybe 100 stations?

    All of this coming from someone who doesn't have supercharging enabled on his car (me)....go figure.
  6. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

    Feb 9, 2012
    Drammen, Norway
    This is a very, very good idea.

    For me in Norway there are three factors that makes it very improbable I will ever (?) install solar at my home
    1) Poor insolation except in a few summer months
    2) We already have >95% hydropower
    3) Electricity is cheap due to nr 2.

    But I would love to pay for solar to be installed somewhere in the world where it makes sense geographically, to offsett fossil fuels. And for me it would be perfect if I could do this bundled with my next Tesla (X) purchase.
  7. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

    Jul 22, 2012
    Rome (Italy)

    Good idea! IMO TESLA has got to be different with respect to other automakers (better of course) by taking initiatives like this.
  8. Evbwcaer

    Evbwcaer Member

    Jun 21, 2014
    If the system worked where people made a donation/payment and then the money earned from selling the electricity produced by the panels purchased with the donation, was used to buy more panels, what stops an exponential explosion of solar?

    It could be not for profit, with only a small amount of funds diverted to administration and maintenance. In parts of the SW and W, where land is cheap and the sun shines bright, seems like a slam dunk.
  9. Saghost

    Saghost Active Member

    Oct 9, 2013
    I'm seeing two directions this can go. On the one hand, you have what's been forming up through the thread - a donation that's tax deductible, which eliminates the 'guilt' of driving, but had no effect on your running costs. That's a good idea in itself.

    Or Tesla could reach for a more involved but more direct solution, such might cost more but would have more tangible benefits, too. I'm thinking they could partner with a few green energy suppliers to build the 'distributed community' solar system - your donation would buy a certain number of shares or Watts, and you'd get that power credited on your utility bill (for generation, anyway - you'd still have to pay for transmission/delivery unless Tesla worked out a credit deal.) That way you not only get the 'green' benefits; you can also prepay your fuel costs...

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