It’s no secret that mobile food vendors face challenges that are unique to their business. For example, food trucks and carts need a power source to cook and keep food hot, but they’re extremely limited on space. That’s why most vendors use generators. The problem with generators is, when they break — which they’re annoyingly apt to do — they cost a lot to replace. Like over $1,400. As you can imagine, that’s a big expense in the food truck world.
However, as truck owner Steve Peto found, there’s another option: the sun. Peto’s food truck, A Taste of Chicago, opened in Reno, Nevada in 2013. When his generator died, Peto installed two solar panels, an inverter, a charge controller and batteries — all for less than $1,000.
It turned out to be a great move. Instead of spending $5 – $10 on fuel, Peto simply maintains the batteries and makes sure the panels stay clean. In the summer, he can run 10 hours on his two 100-watt panels. If he gets a third panel, which he’s considering, he thinks he can probably run for an additional three hours. In addition, replacing his bulky generator with solar panels has given Peto another precious commodity: space. From a financial, environmental and operational perspective, solar energy has been a win for A Taste of Chicago.
Admittedly, there are some days the panels don’t soak up enough sun to produce all the energy Peto needs. But when that happens, he just plugs in his inverter. Problem solved.
As Peto points out, “it’s so important to do what we can to change the way that we consume energy in this country, and worldwide, really.” If other mobile food vendors adopted solar, the impact could be significant — for their business and for the environment. So what do you say, guys?