Charge EVs with Solar Power? Yes, You Can!

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photovoltaic ev charging system from gs yuasaUsing clean energy to power an electric car is a good thing. If that clean energy comes from one’s own personal solar power system instead of the power grid, that’s even better. Japan’s GS Yuasa has developed and produced just such a system. The “PV-EV System” (Photo Voltaic – Electric Vehicle) is currently available to consumers in Japan.

The PV-EV system was specifically designed to charge EVs with solar power — the whole thing includes solar panels and lithium ion batteries hooked into an EV quick-charge unit for the greenest EV experience with the lowest CO2 emissions possible. Electricity goes from the solar panels to the batteries, and the batteries to the EV.

Rain, Rain, Go Away; I Need to Charge My Car Today

On the off-chance that the weather doesn’t facilitate much power coming from the solar panels (September hurricane season, we’re looking at you), the PV-EV System also hooks into the local power grid and the needed electricity can be bought the normal way. On the other hand, if the weather’s been wonderful and sunny (why, hello, December) and there’s excess juice in the batteries? That power can be sold right back to the electric company.

The disaster angle is also part of the system design; if there’s a power outage (planned or otherwise), EV owners can just keep on driving. In case of some kind of natural disaster (that doesn’t destroy the system altogether) that results in extended non-grid-electricity, the PV-EV system can be used to charge several household devices instead of the car.

The manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the system is a pretty steep 12 million yen ($156,000 USD), not including any kind of tax and not including installation. GS Yuasa hopes to sell 100 units with in a year.

Is another step off the grid worth the price tag? You tell me — in the comments, below.

Source: Kankyo Business. | Image: Wikimedia Commons

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