I attended an energy symposium earlier this year and someone calculated that a solar cell would have to be larger than the state of Kansas to power America's electricity needs. Now there's a formula for determining how large a photovoltaic array should be to power an electric vehicle.

The sample situation comes in a post on EcoWorld and refers the reader to a pair of other pages for more involved calculations. From the example of someone commuting about 100 miles, it would cost $50,000 for the 500 square-foot array but you'd never buy gas again. Bottom line: the numbers seem to favor buying power from the local grid.

[Source: EcoWorld]

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