A couple in Michigan uses rooftop solar on their home and garage to generate electricity for their personal needs and to power a Tesla Model S. The Tesla sedan did cost the couple $85,000. Most Americans can’t afford such an expensive car, but it isn’t necessary to buy a Tesla Model S, if you want an electric car.

A number of years ago, a Washington state couple was running their home and charging a Nissan Leaf with a home solar array. A news article published in 2011 described their system and how they would make about $8 every time they drove their Leaf 100 miles. The cost of a Nissan Leaf is about $33,000. You can buy a Tesla Model S base edition for much less than $85,000, but even at $69,000, its still too much for most Americans.

However, Tesla is planning to produce a smaller EV that has a large range with a cost in the $30,000-$40,000 range. In 2016, Chevy might also produce a more affordable electric vehicle with a range of about 200 miles.

There is also the possibility of building one’s own electric car, but this is not very likely for most, because they don’t have the interest or technical knowledge.

The husband in Michigan said that generating his own power was a lifelong dream. “I’m the extreme early adopter. I’m a zealot. We’ve got to get off of these frickin’ fossil fuels.”

At the moment, achieving energy independence is not in financial reach for most Americans. There are some people that are leading they way and setting an example for what will almost undoubtedly will become a much larger trend.

Though clean energy technology and electric vehicles seem new today, electric vehicles have been around for over one hundred years. Also, well over one hundred years an American man named Charles Brush designed and built a huge wind turbine to power his home. He had his own battery storage system.

It appears that today, with solar power, there are many Charles Brushes, at least in the sense of the drive that some early adopters have to embrace the new technology and gradually become less grid dependent. Fortunately, we don’t have to build our own systems.