Ford’s New F-150 Lightning EV Pickup, plus a Florida woman invents rollaway, portable, driveway EV charging station. A Florida man sues Florida utility for denyiing him unlimited solar power, and a Florida politician wants the Sunshine State using 100% Renewable Energy only by 2040.
Ford’s New F-150 Lightning EV Pickup, Florida Woman Invents Solar-On-the-Go, Florida Man Sues Florida Utility for Denyiing Him Unlimited Solar Power, Florida Politician Wants Sunshine State 100% Renewable Energy by 2040
FORD ANNOUNCES THE NEW ALL-ELECTRIC F-150 LIGHTNING
The Ford F-150 pickup truck, America’s favorite vehicle for nearly half a century, is going all-electric. It’s called the Lightning, and this EV pickup truck is expected to be one of the most powerful F-150s ever made, sporting 700 foot-pounds of torque.
According to Ford President and CEO Jim Farley, Ford has been hard at work innovating the 1.1 million F-series it produces annually. “We have a lot of scale, we can pass a lot of that benefit on to the customer, and we want to move customers to electric. We also want this to be affordable and give people a surprising product that they didn’t expect.”
Some of that “surprising product” includes the fact that the F-150 Lightning can power your house during a power outage. And a frunk—a front trunk, huge storage space where the internal combustion engine used to go.
The standard range F-150 Lightning model starts at just under 40 grand and is forecast to get around 250 miles of range. An extended range version starts at just shy of 53 grand and could travel up to 300 miles on a single charge. Oh, and a mere $100 deposit can get you in line for one when these rigs eventually begin to roll off the assembly line starting in 2022.
And here are three reasons why it matters. #1: Ford delivering an affordable version of its most popular pickup truck ever, means, “it’s on.” The electric vehicle age is officially here. Number 2: “it’s over.” As in the age of burning dinosaurs is over. Internal combustion engines are now as obsolete as dinosaurs themselves. And #3? Because of #2, it’s time to cash out of oil stocks. Seriously. cash out before you lose your shirt.
DEEPER DIVE: The Verge, Freep.com, Ford, CarandDriver
FLORIDA FEMALE INVENTS PORTABLE, DRIVEWAY PHOTOVOLTAIC RIG TO CHARGE YOUR EV
You’re gonna need a way to charge that new F-150 Lightning when you get home, and if you don’t have a garage, it’s going to bake in the sun. I think I found the ideal solution. It’s called GISMOPOWER— which stands for Garage Interior Storable Modular Photovoltaic On Wheels With Integrated EV Charger Rack.
(what the what now?) Yeah, that’s quite a mouthful, right?
GISMOPOWER’s a mobile solar carport with integrated EV charger, and was designed and built by Antonia “Toni” Ginsberg-Klemmt, uh physics and environmental studies junior at New College in Sarasota, FL.
“I thought of this idea when I would go to charge my car at the science building on campus and kept noticing how insanely hot it was to get in my car after it had been sitting outside in the sun for hours. I also noticed that there are no EV charging stations on the residential side of campus,” she said. Those two concepts led her to her design. In order to build GismoPower, Ginsberg-Klemmt had to learn TIG welding.
Why this matters to us is not that it’s a solar carport—which IS cool, but there are many of those around. It’s that it’s mobile. The system went from being a stationary structure–subject to arbitrary regulatory guidance—to being an appliance. That key difference makes it much more affordable. Gone are some of the more expensive elements of solar power like permit fees and contractor costs for installing solar panels. And because it’s mobile, it can be moved into a standard-sized garage during extreme weather events, like hurricanes. In less extreme situations, it can be moved around and shared within a community.
Antonia’s Faculty Adviser Dr. Amy Reid is a steadfast supporter of Antonia’s endeavors. “Toni is an inspiration. She is not just hardworking and determined—her energy and passion are contagious. Toni is a true leader and a solid bet for success.”
I’m thinking: She’s only a junior??? What’s she gonna bring her senior year??
Okay, I know you’ve been waiting for an electric truck!! You get the Ford and I’ll get the GismoPower
DEEPER DIVE: Patch.com, Sarasota Magazine, Ozy.com
FLORIDA MAN SUES FLORIDA STATE UTILITY FOR DENYING HIM UNLIMITED SOLAR POWER
Turns out all things solar run in her family. In fact, she may have been conceived on a solar-powered sailboat…
Yeah turns out her parents sailed the world on a solar-powered sailboat from 1995-2006, and only stopped that global trek when they got pregnant with their third child. But that’s not important right now. What’s important is Antonia Ginsberg-Klemmt is the daughter of an official Florida Man. As in, “Florida man takes FPL to court, alleging the utility acts like a net metering regulator.”
Antonia’s father, Achim Ginsberg-Klemmt, was part of a group of Florida homeowners who petitioned the Florida Public Service Commission (FPSC) in May 2020, challenging Florida Power and Light’s (FPL) net metering approval process. The utility company limits customers with solar system installations, allowing them to produce only 115 percent of their total usage. Additionally, any home that generates more than 10KW must pay for liability insurance to ensure that it “doesn’t cause damage to the power grid.”
The petition was denied by the Florida Public Service Commission, so Achim took his complaint to the Florida Supreme Court, claiming that the utility corporation has been allowed by the FPSC to act as a regulatory body and has failed to promote residential solar energy systems and net metering. The argument boils down into three main points of contention:
-and failure to address climate change.
“It’s ridiculous that you have a private company like FPL acting like a government regulatory agency,” he said. “They tell you how big your system can be, what you’re allowed to put on your home.”
After three weeks before the court, using a court-appointed, pro-bono attorney, his case was dismissed. Though it ultimately went nowhere, it brought some attention to the issue. “I don’t think Florida knows or understands FPL is controlling or wants to control the narrative and other utilities.”
DEEPER DIVE: PV-Magazine, Patch
FLORIDA HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES BILL 283, TO TRANSITION FLORIDA TO 100% RENEWABLE ENERGY BY 2040
Well, the good news is even if Florida’s state supreme court is on the wrong side of history, some of Florida’s state representatives are not.
According to Representative Anna Vishkaee Eskamani, a Democrat, who represents Florida’s 47th district in Orange County in the state House, renewable energy resources in the United States are vast. Tapping into just a fraction of them could give us all the energy we need for every aspect of our lives. The US has the technical potential to meet its current electricity needs more than 100 times over with solar energy alone, or more than 10 times over with wind energy. In House Bill 283, legislation to transition Florida to 100% renewable energy by 2040 and carbon neutrality by 2050, Rep Eskamani cites a report done by Environment America – the basis for her co-authoring and filing.
The legislation also bans fracking in Florida and establishes a workforce board. The board’s mission is to ensure that the state’s drive toward a clean-energy economy produces high-paying jobs — a much-needed initiative following COVID-19’s damaging impact on Florida’s unemployment rate.
State Rep. Eskamani hopes to add Florida to the list of seven states that have set the goals of reaching 100% clean or renewable electricity. Hawaii first started the trend in 2015, and California followed suit in 2018. Last year, New Mexico, Washington, Maine, and New York all jumped on board, and Virginia became the latest to join those ranks in April.
DEEPER DIVE: Electrek, FlSenate.gov, FastDemocracy.com, FL Conservation Voters