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Your Carbon Tire Tracks

Tesla Model SOne of the biggest factors contributing to your carbon footprint is the way you get around.  Drive 12,000 miles per year in a 20 mpg auto and you’ll add about 12,000 lbs of CO2 into the atmosphere.  That could account for approximately half of your total annual carbon footprint.  Walking, biking and public transportation are sometimes options, but if you want to cut that CO2, you'll need an eco-friendly ride.  High mileage hybrids and compacts are value-based solutions, but they’re not very exciting.


Electric Vehicles (EV) have been getting a significant amount of media coverage in the past year, but U.S. sales are still low at 17,000 (Volt & Leaf) in 2011.  As manufacturers design new models and ramp up production, consumers have more choices to fit their budgets, lifestyle and carbon reduction goals.  A $7,500 Federal Tax Credit will help reduce the premium you will pay for this more expensive, new technology.  The annual cost of electrons for that 12,000 mile/yr driving habit will be about $700 per year (@ $.17/kWh) vs. $2,100 per year (@ $3.50/gallon) for the fuel you use today, which is approximately a $1,400 annual fuel cost savings.  That plus tax credits could have the makings of a reasonable payback on your purchase of an electric vehicle.  There are CO2 emissions to account for at the power plant to create your “electric fuel”, but it’s approximately 2/3 lower than the equivalent tailpipe CO2.  And, if you want more reductions, add solar panels to your home or contract for wind power with your competitive energy supplier.


New EV owners will be inclined to show off their new toy to friends and neighbors and that will help encourage some potential buyers who may be on the fence.  Most people will still find a reason to NOT jump in and buy an EV…………. range anxiety………….reluctance to buy the first model of anything......etc….  Something has to inspire you to be an early adopter.  It’s more about a leap of faith than a financial calculation.  


Personally, I have never gotten excited about cars and never felt the need to have a high end car.  EVs have certainly changed all that, especially since I laid my eyes on the Tesla Model S.  A luxury sedan with an extended range, built as an EV from the ground up!  The car is an absolute dream but will it live up to its billing when it hits the road?  We won’t have to wait much longer.  In June, Tesla Motors, the California-based “electric only” car company, delivered its first production Model S electric vehicle.  Even if you never ride around in their car, you can check out their website and one of their stores for an amazing car buying experience.


Mike Forese

Model S - Reservation Holder

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