Boone Guyton and his wife, Claudia Cady, have been living in their house in Alexander for 18 years. In 2010, they put a 4-kilowatt solar panel system on their roof and began generating a surplus of electricity each month. “We had the house part of our sustainable approach down pretty well,” said Guyton. “But our vehicles were still using nonrenewable energy.” For a while, Guyton and his wife drove a car that ran on biodiesel. “But we got to the point where we had this excess solar energy and then we found out that we could get a used lease on an electric car and the price was pretty reasonable.”
Taking advantage of North Carolina’s solar tax credits before they ended in 2015, Guyton added an extra 3-kilowatt solar panel system to his shed. He also added battery storage so that the electricity gathered from the sun during the day could charge his vehicle at night. “We figured that in order for the electric car to be a really sound environmental and carbon-saving approach, we should charge it with renewable energy.” Today, Guyton drives a Chevy Bolt that can run 238 miles on a single charge. “The electric car has no maintenance,” explains Guyton. “There’s no oil change, no tuneups.
Charging his car around town hasn’t been a problem, as electric vehicle charging stations are slowly popping up. “One of the charging stations down by the city permit office even has solar panels,” he says. “It’s a solar-assisted charging station.”
For Guyton, driving a vehicle that doesn’t use fossil fuels is one way he can personally fight climate change. “We’ve got to step it up,” he says. “I know a lot of solutions to climate change aren’t personal. But some are.”
Editor’s note: As part of our monthlong celebration of sustainable ways of living and working in our local community, Xpress is highlighting some of those who are taking action on a variety of creative and inspiring initiatives.