Solar Powered EV Charging - Four Visions


Sanyo thinks its joint strengths in solar and in batteries make solar charging stations an obvious market to pursue. Here's one solar station - Sanyo is unveiling its HIT prototype charging station at CES this week and plans a more modest canopy to be unveiled in Portland within the first quarter of this year.

The idea of solar-powered charging stations is enticing. Sanyo, one company preparing many solar canopies and parking lot panel solutions, believes a 10 ft. by 20 ft. solar canopy parking space cover can generate enough electricity to run the electric vehicle annually. Here are three other visions for implementing solar charging for electric vehicles either in the works, or already out on the streets.

Photo via Beautiful Earth Group.
2. Beautiful Earth Group's Brooklyn container-based charging station. This is the container-box vision of a charging station now on view in Red Hook, Brookly.n The system is just a demonstration unit, and its builder Beautiful Earth Group is coy about the cost. Yet it is a great use of decommissioned steel shipping containers, a TreeHugger favorite, and blends right into a gritty urban landscape. Currently, this is not a public charging station, instead providing the juice for Beautiful Earth's electric MINI E. According to the company, the car takes three hours to charge at the station.


3. Toyota Solar Charging Station. Toyota Industries has plans to build a network of these charging stations in Tokyo's Aichi Prefecture -- 21 stations at eleven locations are scheduled to be installed over the next few months -- and then test them out with Toyata Priuses. Eventually the system is intended to be for public use. The output of the solar panel is 1.9 kW, and the capacity of the storage battery is 8.4kWh.

Photo Credit: Envision Solar.
4. Columb Technologies and Envision Solar Grove McDonald's installation. This charger canopy at a McDonald's restaurant in Pacific Beach, California, is one of the many Columb/Envision projects. Dell's HQ parking lot has a similar system consisting of 11 "Solar Trees" which provide shade for 56 cars and 131,000 kilowatt hours annually. However, Envision says that the Solar Tree at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) in Golden, Colorado is the charging model for the future. It is a 3kW system and powers two NREL hybrid-electric vehicles.

Read more about solar charging stations at TreeHugger:
Dell HQ Gets a 130 kW Solar Parking Lot with Plug-In Charging Stations
SolarCity Announces Sun-Powered EV Fast-Charging Stations in California

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