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Buy a plug-in hybrid car and charge its battery with renewable electricity to simultaneously save money and slash your carbon emission



There has been little public discussion of coupled actions that are available to millions of residents in the developed world: they can purchase plug-in hybrid automobiles and simultaneously charge the auto batteries with renewable residential electricity.  This option is probably obvious to energy conservation professionals.  But I stumbled on it by chance, and could not find anyone around me who understood the value of the synergism.  My contribution is an informal article published by my local environmental group, but more valuably, an interactive Web form where individuals can evaluate for themselves their potential dollar and carbon footprint savings by this combined transportation-electricity generation option. I was amazed that, for me and many others, this is a `win-win' situation where I both save money on transportation/electricity and slash my personal carbon foorprint.  I would welcome someone out there in the Climate CoLab community who would take this idea and develop it into a real proposal.  For example, how many plug-in hybrids could be manufactured in the next few years and what fractional effect would this have on global carbon dioxide emissions?  

What actions do you propose?

Citizens purchase commercially available plug-in hybrid cars for their personal use, and simultaneously charge these cars using residential electricity provided by solar or wind energy generation. This is a combination of actions that could be made today by many thousands of citizens, each saving personal funds and simultaneously slashing their carbon dioxide emissions.  

Who will take these actions?

Citizens worldwide who purchase cars and own homes.  

Where will these actions be taken?

US, EU, Australia, and many other developed nations.

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

My personal savings was 85% reduction in automobile-plus-residential-electricity carbon dioxide emission.  Savings by others will vary, and they can quantitatively examine their personal situation with the Web calculator here

What are other key benefits?

What are the proposal’s costs?

None.  All products are commercially available, at least in some portions of the U.S.  


Time line


Related proposals


How I Bought a New Car, Saved Thousands, and Slashed My Carbon Footprint  (online article, April 2015)

Plug-in Hybrid Calculator

How I Bought a New Car, Saved Thousands, and Slashed My Carbon Footprint