BMW i3 Driving to Net Zero Energy – Powered By Sunshine – Part 2 Teaser


I Swear That Charging Station Is Around Here Somewhere

I Swear That Charging Station Is Around Here Somewhere

I”ll be updating our “Net Zero Energy Challenge” with a detailed post around the first of July. That upcoming post will have the first full month of data (May 15th to June 15th) since we began the challenge on May 15th taking delivery of our two BMW i3’s.

Julie saying goodbye to her BMW ActiveE and hello to her BMW i3

Julie saying goodbye to her BMW ActiveE and hello to her BMW i3

As a sneak peek, we have been driving the heck out of the BMW i3s! I did 1,400 miles and Julie did 1,000 miles in the month from May 15 to June 15 including a trip to the desert and mountains. The cars are proving to be about 25% more efficient than the ActiveE.

Our June stats show us to be 200 kwh below the belt-line for the first 15 days of June, Here is a pic of the last week:

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 9.31.30 AM

We are averaging ~12kwh a day for the home and two cars and we will “bank” this for the horrific “San Diego Winter” when we will use more energy than we make.

Harvesting sunshine to power your home and two BMW i3’s is awesome!


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6 Comments on "BMW i3 Driving to Net Zero Energy – Powered By Sunshine – Part 2 Teaser"

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Will be fun to watch how you do. I don’t understand Americans fixation on gas prices and the fact that buying an electric vehicle and installing solar to power them means you have fixed the cost of your local transportation fuel for the life of your panels. Not sure why I don’t hear this potential benefit in the press more often.

Blind Guy

If the TCO of both solar power & EVs ends up making good economic sense; more people will consider that route. Unfortunately most people don’t consider all the other benefits of that lifestyle.


Doesn’t work so well if your solar PV system is leased (e.g. SolarCity).


Anyone have numbers on how many net zero drivers are out there? We’ve been net zero w/ 2 cars and our house for about 16 months, and 2 years w/ one EV and a gas guzzler. It’s been pretty easy, but you have to commit to a large up-front investment for enough panels and efficiencies to pull it off. Our house is an energy hog, being built in ’74 with too many vaulted ceilings, but covering all of the south and west faces w/ panels did the trick. As a side note, my wife’s campus at ASU West is also close to net zero, w/ 5MW of solar:)


James, I am sure there are a few dozen or more of us out there. I believe in a short decade or two there will be millions.

Our solar PV system size is 8.5 kw with 7.5kw of it purchased in 2007 and paid off with utility and fuel savings in 2012.


We live in an all-electric home (no natural gas or oil or propane) with 2 EVs – a Volt and a Ford Focus Electric. We have been at an energy surplus for day to day living for almost 22 months now. Our 12 KW solar system which is sub-optimally placed produces 16000 KwH per year. The house (2200 sq ft) consumes about 10000 KwH per year. The cars consume about 5000 KwH per year total for a 1000 KwH surplus. We get a check from PG&E at the end of each billing year. The Volt consumes less than 10 gallons per year. We do have a Highlander Hybrid for the long drives that logs about 2500 miles per year. Our house is in Cupertino and we are a family of 4 with 2 kids.