Solar powered electric vehicle charging stations launch in SF

Electric vehicle owners in San Francisco now have a new option to charge their rides thanks to some good old solar power. Making it even better than charging from your home power outlet is that it's completely free. Thanks to company Envision Solar, three Electric Vehicle Autonomous Renewable Chargers have been installed in San Francisco, allowing completely off-the-grid charging. The solar powered units each generate 3.3 kilowatts of electricity, and are connected to a lithium-ion battery pack capable of storing 22.5 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

The charging stations are said to be valued at $45,000 each, and San Francisco's Department of the Environment and Charge Across Town were also responsible for bringing them to the city. The 3.3kW of electricity puts the units at the units in Level 2 classification, albeit at the lower end, but this is still more efficient than charging a car from a typical 120V power outlet.

According to a press release from Envision Solar, the three self-contained stations will change locations every few months, but remain within the city of San Francisco until the end of 2015. At the end of the year, the company says it will total up the data on how frequently and for how long each unit saw use across the different locations, with the chargers being permanently donated to the three most popular places.

San Francisco Mayor Edwin Lee championed the project, saying it was a perfect example of charging an electric vehicle from 100% renewable sources. It also allows better use of the city's energy supply, as the benefit is that the chargers don't connect to the grid in any way, meaning they don't draw any electricity from power plants.

SOURCE Envision Solar/Yahoo