Biofuels

Published on December 20th, 2009 | by Zachary Shahan

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1st Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle (EV) Charging Station in NYC

December 20th, 2009 by  

Electric vehicles (EVs) are great, but better if you are not charging them from coal-powered electricity. Solar-powered charging stations are beginning to pop up now to address this situation. Dell headquarters in Texas planted some “solar trees” recently to charge their employees’ EVs, Chicago got its first solar-powered EV charging station in April, and now, New York just got its first one as well thanks to sustainable energy company Beautiful Earth Group.

There may be more on the horizon as well. EVs are looking to boom across the world.

In addition to using solar photovoltaic panels, the charging station is built of “recycled, decommissioned steel shipping containers.”

Beautiful Earth’s president and chief executive Lex Heslin, delighted with these technologies of the future, says, “It never ceases to amaze me, when I get behind the wheel of this 95 mph sports car, that it doesn’t use a single drop of gasoline, and that all of its power comes from the solar energy we collect right here on the Brooklyn waterfront.”

According to Beautiful Earth, the charging station has a capacity of about 6 kilowatts and should be able to produce enough power for a small house as well. An integrated battery bank ensure that the station can provide power at any time of the day, all 24 hours.

Just the other day, 14 of the world’s largest cities committed to using EVs. London, taking the first big step, committed to installing 25,000 charging points across London by 2015! Hopefully, these cities will all look to implement solar-powered charging stations as well.

Related Stories:

  1. Chicago Gets First Solar Powered EV Charging Station
  2. Dell Builds Solar Trees for Parking Lot
  3. In Copenhagen, 14 of World’s Biggest Cities Commit to EVs
  4. More Than Half of Londoners Could Have Their Groceries Delivered by EV in 2010

Images via ShellyS and Tattooed JJ


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About the Author

is tryin' to help society help itself (and other species) with the power of the typed word. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director and chief editor, but he's also the president of Important Media and the director/founder of EV Obsession, Solar Love, and Bikocity. Zach is recognized globally as a solar energy, electric car, and energy storage expert. Zach has long-term investments in TSLA, FSLR, SPWR, SEDG, & ABB — after years of covering solar and EVs, he simply has a lot of faith in these particular companies and feels like they are good cleantech companies to invest in.



  • it will be nice to see where it is going

    CanadianAutoStore.com

  • it will be nice to see where it is going

    CanadianAutoStore.com

  • Charles Vismeg

    JJ and Chris I think you both are right, but look at this event as a show-off rather than a solution to power these future stations. Currently our grid system is not “smart enough” and EVs are about coming out, so why not NYC to be the proud green-town-to-be.

    As a retired EE, I’m confident that smarts will prevail and from qualified source of technical endeavor.

  • Charles Vismeg

    JJ and Chris I think you both are right, but look at this event as a show-off rather than a solution to power these future stations. Currently our grid system is not “smart enough” and EVs are about coming out, so why not NYC to be the proud green-town-to-be.

    As a retired EE, I’m confident that smarts will prevail and from qualified source of technical endeavor.

  • Well!! this is the really excellent job, I think Solar powered electric vehicle Charging Station have no extra cost like gas or any other fuel stations.

  • Well!! this is the really excellent job, I think Solar powered electric vehicle Charging Station have no extra cost like gas or any other fuel stations.

  • JJ

    @chris

    While ICE cars often do partial fill ups, a half way gives perhaps 200 miles. The BEV is going to be sorely limited for awhile, a half charge might just get you home for the overnight charge. If the range is only 40 or 60 miles like the Miles BEV, a half charge might only get you to the next charge point.

    Sending the solar DC direct to the car sounds reasonable but the extra losses in taking it off the grid might not amount to much in the scheme of things (EE speaking) since grid power is far cheaper. Then you can move the solar panels back to where they belong, in a sunny climate or on top of building far from the station or better still forget them. Taking the power straight from the grid will allow many cars to charge one after the other at much faster charge rates, the grid has a very low impedance.

  • JJ

    @chris

    While ICE cars often do partial fill ups, a half way gives perhaps 200 miles. The BEV is going to be sorely limited for awhile, a half charge might just get you home for the overnight charge. If the range is only 40 or 60 miles like the Miles BEV, a half charge might only get you to the next charge point.

    Sending the solar DC direct to the car sounds reasonable but the extra losses in taking it off the grid might not amount to much in the scheme of things (EE speaking) since grid power is far cheaper. Then you can move the solar panels back to where they belong, in a sunny climate or on top of building far from the station or better still forget them. Taking the power straight from the grid will allow many cars to charge one after the other at much faster charge rates, the grid has a very low impedance.

  • chrisp68

    I agree with JJ however you don’t need to charge your battery full each time you plug it in. That’s like saying you are going to drive your car until you empty all the gas on every trip you make and then fill the tank full. We need to break this type of thinking. So what if the “tank” isn’t full every time you get into the car. You cell phone works at two bars doesn’t it? You just need to be more aware of how far you are going and limit unnecessary trips.

    Granted it doesn’t make sense to have the panels not attached to the grid, but they should also consider sending the DC power directly to the car (a type of second plug) so there are fewer losses from inverting the current to and from AC.

  • chrisp68

    I agree with JJ however you don’t need to charge your battery full each time you plug it in. That’s like saying you are going to drive your car until you empty all the gas on every trip you make and then fill the tank full. We need to break this type of thinking. So what if the “tank” isn’t full every time you get into the car. You cell phone works at two bars doesn’t it? You just need to be more aware of how far you are going and limit unnecessary trips.

    Granted it doesn’t make sense to have the panels not attached to the grid, but they should also consider sending the DC power directly to the car (a type of second plug) so there are fewer losses from inverting the current to and from AC.

  • JJ

    Well I want to drive an BEV as soon as economically possible but charging it from a decoupled solar PV station is the hieght of absurdity when the grid is just a few feet away. This is greenwashing on scale that will break the investors backs and would make Edison cry. Its going to turn people away from BEVs if its done this bad.

    Do the math, a Leaf with a 25KWh battery would need 4hours of sunshine at 6KW rate for a full charge, so one station might charge 2 BEVs/day if it could buffer enough sunshine, maybe almost nothing in winter.

    This is like saying the grid would work even better by cutting it up into tiny isolated pieces and not letting energy flow between the parts.

    What we need in the north east is a strong common baseload grid best made of concentrated power sources. Preferably not coal of course, but that means gas, nuclear or renewables, all of which have their issues.

    Its as if fools are designing the new power systems of the future and ignoring the advice of engineers and physicists.

    What these blogs need to be discussing is next generation nuclear that is orders more efficient than the ones in operation today and get over the 3 mile island elephant. Coal puts out far more radioactive emissions than nuclear plants.

  • JJ

    Well I want to drive an BEV as soon as economically possible but charging it from a decoupled solar PV station is the hieght of absurdity when the grid is just a few feet away. This is greenwashing on scale that will break the investors backs and would make Edison cry. Its going to turn people away from BEVs if its done this bad.

    Do the math, a Leaf with a 25KWh battery would need 4hours of sunshine at 6KW rate for a full charge, so one station might charge 2 BEVs/day if it could buffer enough sunshine, maybe almost nothing in winter.

    This is like saying the grid would work even better by cutting it up into tiny isolated pieces and not letting energy flow between the parts.

    What we need in the north east is a strong common baseload grid best made of concentrated power sources. Preferably not coal of course, but that means gas, nuclear or renewables, all of which have their issues.

    Its as if fools are designing the new power systems of the future and ignoring the advice of engineers and physicists.

    What these blogs need to be discussing is next generation nuclear that is orders more efficient than the ones in operation today and get over the 3 mile island elephant. Coal puts out far more radioactive emissions than nuclear plants.

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