We now have a new vehicle in the fleet here at Power Trip Energy – an all electric Toyota RAV4 EV.  The lease option makes this vehicle very affordable compared to the gasoline we had been burning in our Chevy Astro and Toyota pick-up that had been handling the site eval and light work duties.  With the rear seats down, the back is large enough to accomodate a pretty good sized folding ladder for roof access.  We have just made a significant reduction the carbon foot-print of our solar installations.  Here is Toyota’s site:  http://www.toyota.com/rav4ev/

This vehicle made its first run to Bainbridge yesterday and to central Kitsap again last night, totaling 170 miles for the day, taking the opportunity to charge during meals and for two hours in between trips here at our shop.  We’ll be posting more reviews of this vehicle as we continue to get to know it.

We made a pleasant discovery last night in Silverdale.  There are 4 new EVSE stations going in at the Silverdale YMCA, which is right across the street from the mall and shares a parking lot with the Silverdale Community Center.  Two of those are Level II plugs (installation not complete) and two were on a large CHAdeMO kiosk, which was ready, though our Toyota RAV4 EV only has the Level II charge port.

Since this kiosk was not useful to us, we wound up going up the hill to The Doctor’s Clinic at the corner of Mahyer and Ridgetop Rd to use one of the Eaton Level II chargers gratis.  Thanks docs!

Usually however we will be charging at the shop, where we have 4 kw of pv that provided 75% of our annual electricity last year.  Now that we are charging electric vehicles (ours and anybody else’s, for free), we will be doubling the size of our pv array to cover the additional electrical loads.  Believe it or not we still sometimes get asked “Does solar really work in the Pacific Northwest?”  Actually yes, it works well enough to power your home and to drive your car with it.  That’s the PV – EV connection.


Here’s the RAV4 EV charging under the solar awning on this rainy day.

Plugshare.com is a useful website to locate charging stations near you, let you know if they are free or require payment, and if they are occupied or available.  http://www.plugshare.com   It is also available as an app for your phone of course.