Electric car charging infrastructure is a constantly changing industry attached to the rapid growth of electric vehicle adoption and new products are coming up all the time.
The latest to come to our attention as they increase deployment is the ‘Solar EV ARC’ by Envision Solar. They just won a contract with the city of Pittsburgh and now they want to be ‘the future of fuel’ by combining solar, batteries, and electric car charging.
The product is reminiscent of the Giraffe charging station that we reported on a few months back.
The idea is to produce a product that can generate the electricity, store it, and then deliver it to an electric vehicle all in a single package.
It has the potential to facilitate deployment, especially in remote areas and where you wouldn’t want a grid connection.
Envision Solar’s ‘Solar EV ARC’ doesn’t require any concrete to be poured since the solar carport array is supported by the base where they install all the electronics and batteries as well as a platform for the vehicles to park on.
There are different configurations available up to a 4.1 kW solar array and 30 kWh battery capacity, which Envision Solar says will create enough renewable energy to power up to 150 miles of range each day.
Pittsburgh announced this week that they are buying 5 of those stations for their own EV fleet.
Mayor William Peduto commented:
“In Pittsburgh we are working to achieve long-term environmental health through wise stewardship, improved use of our resources and reducing our carbon footprint. Adding the Envision Solar EV ARC emissions-free charging station to the electric vehicle fleet is one more step on our journey towards making Pittsburgh 100% renewable.”
The company says that the system costs roughly $57,000 each, but they are eligible for federal tax credits.
There are definitely cheaper ways to deploy charging stations, there’s no denying that, but Envision Solar is pushing for the ability to completely avoid a grid connection and drive exclusively on solar.
I don’t think it’s a valid solution for charging stations that aim at high volume charging or DC fast-charging, but it could be an interesting solution for charging in retail parking lots or charging at work.
There’s also something appealing about a short cycle between the production of the electricity and the consumption, like charging your electric car from energy created by your own solar panels at home.
What do you think? Let us know in the comment section below.