Green Overdrive: The DIY electric Volvo (charged by Solyndra panels)


Welcome to the future of DIY clean power and electric vehicles. Solyndra engineer Michael Ahern (no, not that Michael Ahearn) electrified a Volvo 240 that he bought on Craigslist for $150 and has been charging it up with Solyndra tube-shaped solar panels that he and a friend installed on his roof in San Jose, Calif. His rooftop is one of the world’s first residential installations of Solyndra solar panels, as Solyndra has only been targeting selling to commercial and industrial building owners. That makes Ahern’s roof and car combo truly one of a kind, and perhaps a lil’ glimpse into the future of more sustainable energy and transportation.



did the $7K price tag include the solar panels and electrical system upgrade on the house?


Awesome. Thank you for this. Cost was the key part. 40 miles of range is pretty limited but for around the town driving it is pretty nice.

Would be great if all these conversions were documented, ifixit style so that other DIYers could share the knowledge.


Incredibly cool and equally industrious. Though I have to wonder what kind of hassles Mr. Ahern runs into at the DMV come registration time when they request a smog check. Does the CA DMV have any sort of special procedures yet for handling these retrofits? I’ve seen a handful of converted cars on the road so this can’t be entirely new ground to cover for them.

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