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UGE installs its first wind-powered EV charging station


August 16, 2012

New York's Urban Green Energy has installed the world's first fully integrated wind-powered electric vehicle charging station has just been installed in Barcelona

New York's Urban Green Energy has installed the world's first fully integrated wind-powered electric vehicle charging station has just been installed in Barcelona

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What's claimed to be the world's first fully integrated wind-powered electric vehicle charging station has just been unveiled in Barcelona, Spain. The Sanya Skypump marries a 4 kW turbine developed by New York's Urban Green Energy (UGE) and General Electric's (GE) WattStation charging technology to offer users the chance to juice up an EV using clean, renewable energy.

Designed primarily for commercial and government customers, the first installation of the Sanya Skypump at the Barcelona headquarters of waste management group Cespa was unveiled Tuesday. It features a 42 ft (13 m) high tower of galvanized steel that has a 77W LED light (6930 lumens) just over half way up and is topped by UGE's 4K vertical wind turbine (which, as the name suggests, has a rated output of 4,000-watts).

GE's WattStation (or Durastation, depending on where in the world you're reading this) sits at the bottom in a housing that protects all of the electronic components from the elements and features a touchscreen display for selecting the different charging options on offer and if/how you'd like to be notified when your EV is juiced up.

"The Skypump as a whole is interconnected to the grid, which makes it a very versatile unit," UGE's Mateo Chaskel told us. "When there is no car charging, the turbine still produces energy and sends it seamlessly to the grid, creating an economic benefit for the customer. Likewise, when there is no wind and a car needs to charge, it simply pulls the energy as needed from the grid."

"I believe GE's charging station is capable of charging an EV in as little as four hours. However, in the locations where these will be installed, we see them being used somewhat differently. We foresee them being used, for example, in commercial establishments where customers can charge their EV for an hour or so, while they shop, eat, go to the movies, and so on - creating both a benefit for the customer and an additional service to offer for the mall, supermarket, or restaurant."

The Sanya Skypump will make its U.S. and Australian debut later this year.

Source: UGE, via Inhabitat

The following short video shows the Barcelona installation in operation:

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At least they are not charging batteries to store the electricity to charge the car's batteries with.


Great idea Pikeman. That would be a good option in remote locations with no grid connection available.

Tony Morris

I am skeptical about many alt energy schemes but this actually makes sense if it isn't too deep in the bag with government subsidies. It does not appear to ask too much of the wind power so the wind just augments the electric charge station. If you wanted to run them completely off wind they would be down much of the time and the generators would be huge and numerous. This has the wind helping out when able but having access to reliable power which can be augmented in other places like hydro dams, and whatever alternative energy eventually gets developed that doesn't need to be faked using government funds.

Someday Solar pannels may be cheap enough and useful enough without phony subsidies to take off the ornamental "green roof" and reduce grid use even more. Ones in cities might get hooked up to gas lines and run a generator or fuel cell if the economics works out.

Snake Oil Baron

re; Tony Morris

Pikeman's statement indicates it is a bad idea. It is more efficient to store the energy captured from the wind mechanically pumping water or mercury* to someplace high and generate the electricity at the moment of demand.

*Make double sure the system is sealed, but the energy density is nice.


We have had an EV charging station on our farm for holiday guests for some months now and it is powered by our 11Kw wind turbine as well as 4KWp solar PV array. I didn't think it was such a breakthrough!


For Snake Oil & others: Solar PV,& Thermal, Wind, Wave, OTEC, and other alternative energy choices are already competitive and are rapidly getting far more competitive with traditional extractive energy sources that are based upon heavily subsidized drill & despoil techniques. The current "traditional" energy sources do NOT calculate ANY environmental, health or social costs or defense costs. Adding these puts pretty much any alternative choice way ahead. I am a retired Ordnance officer and inside the defense & intel communities we have been talking about the giant strategic risks & ongoing costs, human & financial for at least the last 2 decades. Any effort that distributes or defocuses energy production is worth the trouble. And, again, Solar PV & Thermal as well as wind & Otec are already possible, affordable, non-destructive, and highly distributed, therefore inherently hard to assail.


@ Pikeman: Eventually it will be useful to charge a battery pack at the station ( perhaps the old pack from an obsolete EV) in order to do the charging faster than the grid connection may allow. The ultimate limitations to fast charging are often the size of wire used in the local grid connection. In the short distance between two packs this does not have to be the case with good charge transfer systems. It also makes the charge station a better load leveling system.

@ slowburn: A 13M wind tower is much less structural cost than a local water tower with enough head to do what you suggest. Mercury is not cheap or easy to impliment either. Those systems are better in large installations under supervision. The costs are coming down fast on the basic technology of EV's because we need them.

Paul Gracey

Sadly these type wind generators are low eff making little power/$ investment so basically a scam. More normal 3 blades ones make about 10x's the power/$.

Fast charging EV's requires a lot of power so having batteries to handle it will prevent it from overloading the grid locally. Otherwise larger transformers, wire from the powerplant would be needed for 15 minute charging or multiple EV's.


Dear Snake Oil Baron,

A well thought out name for what you are trying to sell!

Every great advancement we have had as a society has required government participation. The Oil industry today that is making obscene profits is still getting government subsidies. To whine about RE projects not standing alone is ignorant. The cost of solar has fallen dramatically in the past few years because of government investment in the industry. The Muther Frackers that are producing "clean" natural gas received multi millions of dollars of government research to develop that technology... Why are the whiners so quiet about that yet pontificate about RE not being economic?

John Cogar

I suspect the vertical turbine has more value as advertising than for actually generating electricity.


re; Paul Gracey

The first part to die on a EV is the batteries.

There are places that you would have to build a tower to get the height differential, but there are places with hills, or aquifers where surface tanks will work just fine.

The problems with using mercury have all been solved at one time or another with exception if the people who will object simply because mercury is toxic. Somehow this doesn't stop the same people from championing florescent light bulbs.


re; John Cogar

Do you have some evidence that the government is providing research and development funding for a process for increasing the flow of wells that has been in use for over 50 years.

Fracking is nothing new except that it is now being used in gas wells.

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