Boise man traveling across the U.S. in solar-powered truck named Griff

Posted at 6:04 PM, May 05, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-05 20:08:47-04

BOISE — Many of us are trying to stay busy with the stay at home order in place, but a Boise man is spending his time creating something that has never been done before.

Joshua Hill turned an electric truck named Griff into a completely solar-powered vehicle. One that he plans to drive across the country using only sun.

"That feeling you get of fulfillment and satisfaction, of when I make it across the country, that's something I can hang my head on for the rest of my life," said Hill. "It's not very often that you get to do something that has never been done before."

COVID-19 has altered his plans. He planned on stopping in different locations throughout his route to give free solar-power educational seminars, but now he has to do them entirely online.

Although he can't meet people in person, he still plans to educate people about solar energy by Griff giving away as much free energy as it can.

"I want people to plug into Griff, and I want to keep a running tally of how much money I've given away in electricity, so you can just convert kilowatt-hours into dollars," said Hill.

Griff is covered entirely in custom made solar panels. When the sun hits the panels, it excites electrons, and those electrons are stored to charge the battery.

"Griff can charge people's electric vehicles, cell phones, and computers," said Hill. "It can actually charge a house. I have more solar on this truck than the average house uses."

Instead of having to charge Griff's battery every day, it completely recharges itself by just sitting there.

"It's like your gas tank refilling itself every day," said Hill.

The biggest challenge he faced was building something from scratch.

"All the panels that you see and how they are mounted on this truck hasn't been done before, so it was all custom," said Hill.

He's tested Griff out by helping the company, College Hunks, move their customers. Hill said that he is ready for his journey and ready for any bump in the road he might experience.

"If I don't make it? Haha...Keep trying," said Hill. "Because I know it is completely possible to do this. I am going to persevere to prove that it can be done."

Hill hopes to inspire others to learn more about being energy independent with solar power. He plans to leave sometime beginning of May, drive down to California, and then head east to Florida.

To learn more about project Griff and solar energy, click on this link.