Electrify America is investing $2 million in solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in rural California that are not tied to the electrical grid.
The investment will expand access to sustainable EV charging to drivers in rural areas, including the Central, Coachella, and Imperial Valleys.
Electrify America is sourcing the chargers from Envision Solar, a San Diego-based sustainable technology company. The EV ARC 2020 is a transportable, solar-powered electric vehicle-charging infrastructure product. Each standalone station is equipped with a 4.28-kilowatt (kW) sun-tracking solar array, 32kWh of on-board battery storage, and two Electrify America Level 2 EV chargers capable of charging speeds up to 6kW. This combination allows for two customers to charge their vehicles at the same time using 100 percent renewable electricity – regardless of weather or time of day.
“Envision Solar’s innovative technology allows us to offer renewable energy solutions for electric vehicle charging,” said Giovanni Palazzo, president and chief executive officer of Electrify America. “Along with supporting California’s broader air quality goals, this investment expands reliable, low-cost charging solutions to California residents living outside of major metropolitan areas – further demonstrating that electric vehicles are for everyone.”
Electrify America will dispatch 30 standalone EV ARC 2020 stations to carefully selected areas in rural California. Because of the custom size and flexible nature of the EV ARC 2020, the stations can be deployed quickly and without disruptive construction. Deployment takes only minutes, and the chargers can fit easily inside a standard parking spot, preserving available parking.
“Electric vehicles accounted for about 8% of car sales in California in 2019 but EV penetration is still less than half a percent in rural areas,” said Desmond Wheatley, chief executive officer of Envision Solar. “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. We look forward to continuing to support Electrify America’s efforts now and in the future.”
The unique ability of EV ARC 2020 to operate independent of the electrical grid not only provides ease and flexibility in installation, but also makes it a reliable source of power. The units are built to withstand extreme weather – holding up against winds up to 120 mph and floods up to 9.5 feet. This keeps the technology operating in the event of a blackout or power outage, allowing EV customers to charge their vehicles and get home. Additionally, the chargers can serve as a resource for first responders who may need to quickly relocate the transportable units to provide power in the event of an emergency.
Installation of the Envision Solar chargers will begin in the first half of 2020. Like all public charging stations on the Electrify America network, the EV ARC 2020 chargers being deployed by Electrify America promote consumer choice by supporting all light-duty electric vehicles.