Nissan Presents Vision Of Tomorrow – 2 LEAFs Powered By The Sun


“This is what tomorrow looks like.”

States Nissan via its Nissan LEAF Facebook page.

If this is the vision of tomorrow, then we can’t wait.

Of course, regular readers of InsideEVs will recognize the photo posted by Nissan LEAF Facebook as belonging to Tyrel and Trish Haveman.  Tyrel is an occasional contributor to the site who just so happens to be President of the North Sound Electric Vehicle Association.  The Haveman’s often partake in LEAF adventures, such as their Oregon EV road trip scheduled for this September.

To read up on Tyrel’s solar LEAF adventures, visit his personal blog here.

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21 Comments on "Nissan Presents Vision Of Tomorrow – 2 LEAFs Powered By The Sun"

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Looks a little better than tar sands.

This array is rated at 12.325 kW total. We’re north of Seattle and this array provides 90% of ALL our energy needs — not just the cars, but the lights and heat in the house as well.

I mean 12.225 kW. Math!

Just curious, how many kwh per year does the system produce, and do you use on each car?

We’ll produce about 15,000 kWh per year. Our cars use about 2400 kWh per year each (12,000 miles of driving).

My summer usage is 36 kWh per day, so this could generate my usage in 3 hours?

If it was noon for that entire 3 hours, yes. The array is rarely producing “at capacity”.

Solar generation follows a bell curve with highest production and solar noon. On a clear mid-summer day we usually generate around 83 kWh. Our record is 88 kWh.

@Mike, to get an idea of what solar could do in your case:

Check out the production of existing systems, from yearly statistics down to the per-minute output of each module (for some sites):

Size your own, play with orientation etc, get very realistic (conservative even) figures for your location:

Get your virtual system “installed”, see it in action (haven’t played with this much, looks experimental but interesting):

@Tyrel, congrats, nice setup! That’s enough PV to power, what, 2 or 3 more Leafs? 🙂

Interesting to do the math on the panels from a generation point of view.

The way I like to compare is to take a monthly or yearly kwh number generated and turn it into average hours per day.

So if I take your 1800 kwh per month in the summer and divide by 12 kw and divide that by 30 days in the month I get a summer peak of around 5 hours per day.

Here in Arizona I’m getting around 6.5 hours per day during the best months. For the year as an average it comes out to 5 hours roughly.

So I’m actually surprised that you can do that well in the Pacific NW. It is an interesting comparison.

How many kW of panels are in your PV system to generate 1800 kWh/mo?

The 1800 kwh/mo is for Tyrel’s system.
The number was from his blog.

It’s definitely a very different environment than Arizona. Up here the panels do particularly well in the summer because the days are quite long, and from about mid-June through September it’s hardly ever cloudy. Plus, it doesn’t get particularly warm (usually under 80 F), so the panels are more efficient. All of this makes up a bit for the poor winter production.

There is just something super sexy about making your own juice to power your own cars.

That super sexy thing is complete independence from greedy fossil fuel companies. With the addition of a few more PV panels and a battery that would also be independence from power companies also. Happiness is life without a power bill, and the need to pump gasoline.

I can’t see spending maybe $20k+ to save the $20/month I now pay to power my Leaf. No way.

The solar array pays for itself in 6 or 7 years, whether we have EVs or not. The EVs save us a bunch of money per month whether we have solar power or not. The fact that we are producing our own power for our EVs is merely an emotional benefit.

The $20K provides much more than $20/month of electricity. And it provides that electricity for some 25+ years. And you get a 30% tax-credit.

I am getting a 6.867 kW solar array installed on my roof next week and CAN’T wait!!! So excited to be getting the cleanest and long term cheapest energy available right on my own roof – power my whole house plus my 14000 miles a year in my Leaf!

Yes- payback does take a while at 6-10 years depending on local incentives, but it is worth it when you can say that your EV drives effectively on sunshine instead of coal, natural gas, or any of the other non-renewable sources. My solar installer even gave me a weird look when I requested panels on the south and west facing roof areas when the biggest bang for the buck comes from the south facing side- but I want to offset more of the afternoon/evening power grid peak. This is in Colorado where we aren’t on any time-of-use programs – but I have done my research and wish to offset what I can of that evening peak.

Congrats. It is a pretty nice feeling to neither pay for gasoline nor electricity. That would have seemed impossible just a few years ago . . . now it is a simple reality that I hope more & more people enjoy.

You don’t have to pay cash for the system. These days, most people lease. You can get a $0 down system installed and your monthly lease payment will be equal to, or less than what you were paying your utility for dirty energy. Essentially, you’re trading expensive dirty power for less costly solar power.

We installed in 2002, paid cash since there were no leases back then. We calculated payoff in year 8, so since about 2010, we’ve had free energy from sunlight falling on our roof which we use to power our EVs and home. The system will keep generating free, clean energy for the rest of our lives.

In our area (Washington State), leasing is actually very uncommon because the state incentives will not pass on to lessors. Instead, most people get financing through a local credit union that does 15-year loans for solar installs.