There’s no doubt that electric vehicles (EVs) are great for the environment. However, these vehicles need to be charged. With a standard charging station, that process can put a strain on the electrical grid. That’s where solar charging stations come in; these stations take the electrical grid out of the equation, allowing you to charge your EV using just the power of the sun. Electrify America offers charging networks all across the U.S., and the company has revealed that it plans to build several solar-powered charging stations in California.
- Electrify America has announced plans to add 30 solar-powered charging stations across rural California.
- The company will invest $2 million in the project, and the stations will be built in places such as Central Valley, Coachella and Imperial Valley.
- None of these stations will be tied to the electrical grid.
Electrify America’s solar charging stations add much-needed EV infrastructure to rural California communities.(Photo: Electrify America)
Rain or shine
Electrify America has tapped Envision Solar to provide the infrastructure. Each station will be outfitted with a 4.28-kilowatt (kW) sun-tracking solar array, as well as 32 kWh of on-board battery storage. Additionally, each station will be equipped with two Electrify America Level 2 EV chargers capable of charging speeds up to 6 kW. This setup makes it possible for two customers to charge their vehicles at the same time using 100-percent renewable electricity. This system works even during those times when the sun is absent or obscured. It allows drivers to charge their cars at nighttime or on cloudy days.
Rural vs. urban
Infrastructure that supports EV charging can be hard to find in rural environments. This undoubtedly has an impact on EV adoption rates in these areas. EVs accounted for 8 percent of total car sales in California in 2019, but the penetration rate drops significantly once you venture beyond metropolitan locations. In rural areas, EV penetration is less than 0.5 percent.
“Electrify America’s deployment of our rapidly deployed, solar-powered EV charging products will help the state get closer to its goal of 250,000 charging stations by 2025 while putting fully emissions-free driving within reach of those who need it most,” says Desmond Wheatley, chief executive officer of Envision Solar. “We look forward to continuing to support Electrify America’s efforts now and in the future.”
WHY THIS MATTERS
Improved penetration in rural areas is a must if EVs are to live up to their full sales potential. Initiatives such as this one provide the infrastructure to support this growth.