It is difficult to go car-free in Kentucky. Inner-city transit is inadequate and inter-city options almost non-existent. But it is possible to reduce your carbon footprint while car-dependent. There are increasing options for Hybrid and All-electric vehicles that will move us in the right direction.
Several years ago we bought a used Toyota Prius. It continues to be a great car for us, but we wanted to do more. So I recently gave up my 1994 Geo Metro and got a used, all electric Nissan Leaf. Knowing that much of Kentucky’s electric still comes from coal and natural gas combustion, I had Photo-voltaic panels installed on my house to insure that I am reducing rather than just changing my carbon footprint. The solar panels and the 2015 Leaf together, came to well under $20,000.
The Leaf is our City Car, and the Prius the Road Car. This arrangement meets all of our travel needs. The Nissan Leaf is a great 4 door hatchback that is as fun to drive as it is inexpensive. Even in “Eco Mode” it is peppy with great acceleration. Charging is as easy as well. We just plug into a wall outlet next to the driveway and in the morning we are ready to go. There are also lots of charging stations around town, though we haven’t had the need for them. It is unusual that we come anywhere near using the 80 miles of range that we have available each morning. Most Americans drive less than 30 miles a day.
Finding a used electric car locally was difficult. Local dealerships just haven’t caught on to what is going to quickly become a hot market. The nearest used electrics I could find were in Nashville, TN. Not a surprise. Nashville also has Light Rail – just like a real City. But getting an electric car back from Nashville is tricky. It has to be hauled or towed, and that plus the issues of shopping long distance had me looking at other options.
In frustration I turned to CARVANA, an on-line dealership with a bunch of EV’s available and a process that is protective of the buyer. If you don’t like the car after you get it, you can get a full refund within 7 days.
We have been very happy with our purchase, and I recommend test driving an all electric if you haven’t. They are impressive.
CART is a proud promotional partner for the Louisville Solar Tour once again in 2014! This year’s tour features 34 sites with solar installers at two locations to deep dive into the technology options. To download the 2014 Solar Tour Guidebook please click here.
While solar energy is not directly related to transportation solutions, any future electric rail or trolley system will be agnostic to the source of the electricity and the more renewable energy on line will improve the air quality and greenhouse gas emissions performance of the system.
When: Saturday October 11, 2014 from 10 AM to 3 PM
Where: Throughout Louisville. Mostly inside the Watterson on the east side but there are many excellent sites to visit in other locations including Bernheim. Three opportunities for your Tour Experience:
- Guided Bus Tour
- Guided Bicycle Tour
- Self Guided Tour
Bike and Bus tours begin at 12:00 noon at the APCD parking lot at the corner of Breckenridge St. and Barret Ave.
To register for the Bus Tour click here.
The bike tour is free to all participants and will also be leaving from the APCD parking lot (at the corner of Barret and Breckinridge) at 12 PM.
For more information go to http://www.kentuckyipl.org/2014-louisville-solar-tour/