My Family's Contribution to Climate Action: Rooftop Solar and Electric Vehicles
In response to growing reports of extreme heat and floods around the world, my wife and I are doing our part to reduce our carbon footprint: We now have rooftop solar panels as well as two electric vehicles. In fact, we have had rooftop solar since 2019. My wife Yasmeen traded in her Toyota Prius Hybrid car for an all-electric Chevrolet Bolt in 2019, and I have recently traded in my gasoline-powered Mercedes sedan for a Tesla Model Y 2022. Both of us see these actions as the least we can do to help our future generations. We all need to help bring about the clean energy revolution.
|My New Tesla Model Y 2022|
Our rooftop solar panels have been generating enough electricity to power our home for the last three years. The SunRun solar app we have shows that our solar panels generated 8,500 kWh of electricity in the last 12 months, reducing CO2 emissions produced by 6,622 pounds of coal and 676 gallons of gasoline.
|Rooftop Solar Panels on Our House|
Silicon Valley where I live is at the forefront of the nascent clean energy revolution led by Tesla. Tesla is more than an electric car company; the company also supplies solar panels and batteries. Other automakers are also taking their cues from Tesla. China's BYD Auto has only recently been surpassed by Tesla in production volumes. Auto giants General Motors and BMW are both building electric cars and planning to build "gigafactories" like Tesla's to manufacture battery packs for vehicles and homes. Pakistan is building up renewable power generation capacity. The country has also recently announced its National Electric Vehicle Policy that offers incentives to transition to clean energy.The global transportation sector is a major polluter and in 2020 produced approximately 7.3 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Passenger cars were the biggest source of emissions that year, accounting for 41 percent of global transportation emissions.
|CO2 Emissions by the Transport Sector. Source: Statista|
Bloomberg estimates that batteries and electric transmission account for about 40% of passenger cars’ costs. European demand is met by mainly Japanese and South Korean battery makers like Panasonic, LG Chem Ltd. and Samsung SDI Co. In the U.S., Tesla has built its own battery cells at its Gigafactory to manage costs and satisfy demand for the cars it produces. Chinese demand for battery packs is met by BYD.
My wife and I have taken it to heart to think globally and act locally. Each of us can make our own modest contribution to helping fight global climate change for the sake of our future generations. We owe it to our children and grandchildren. The time to act is NOW!
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