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Chicago unveils solar-powered recharging stations for electric cars

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April 19, 2009

Chicago shows off its solar recharging stations for electric vehicles

Chicago shows off its solar recharging stations for electric vehicles

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April 20, 2009 With the Tesla Roadster and other plug-in electric vehicles hitting the road, so demand is growing for readily accessible refueling points to recharge them. Carbon Day Automotive has now demonstrated a solar-powered recharging point, known as the Solar Plug-In Station, which lets motorists easily charge their cars using electricity that has been generated without any environmental emissions.

The Solar Plug-In Station thas gone on show in Chicago as part of the city's bid to host the 2016 Olympic Games. According to Carbon Day Automotive, the solar-powered recharge station is part of the vital infrastructure required for electric vehicles in Chicago and was the focus of a recent visit by the International Olympic Committee.

These solar-powered electricity points will be used daily by Chicago to fuel the city’s electric vehicles with power from the sun. While the the electric vehicles are driven by solar energy, their carbon imprint isn't completely removed but rather relocated to the power plant where the electricity was generated. But by generating the electricity from pollution-free solar cells, the C02 emissions are reduced to zero.

“Solar energy and electric vehicles are an inevitable partnership that is one more step to reducing our dependence on foreign oil,” says Richard Lowenthal, CEO of Coulomb Technologies.

Coulomb Technologies recently developed the components required for individual recharging stations, marketed as ChargePoint Networked Charging Stations. Carbon Day Automotive is the Midwest distributor for the ChargePoint stations.

The Solar Plug-In Station, built by Carbon Day Construction, consists of giant solar panels in the shape of a tree-like canopy that shades the tiny ChargePoint Networked Charging Station. The solar panel is connected to an underground battery pack that stores the solar energy on a grid, ready for everyday refueling.

“Without these stations it would be like driving around in traditional cars without the availability of gas stations," says Scott Emalfarb, CEO at Carbon Day. "The day of true plug-in electric vehicles will be here sooner than most people realize and the world needs to be ready to accommodate them.”

Stephen Saunders

2 Comments

Yeah but how long will the udnerground barreries last with all the charging and uncharging. Also, what if there is no charge contained in the undergound battery? Will you need to wait for the sun to charge your car through the solar panels? How long will that take?

Nice concept though, it is one of the new waves of the future. Im sure 100 years from now they will have it tweeked to perfection and say " I bet they wish they had this back then"

What will become of all thoose used batteries? Even if the electric cars only need batteries every three years, how much will they be? What happenes to all the old batteries? Isnt that a lot of pollution to make those batteries?

Matthew Tindle
5th May, 2009 @ 03:03 pm PDT

I'll stick with my old Ford truck. She might use up a little more gas but she is solid like a rock and if I get into a crash with one of them plastic honda's I bet my old FOrd would run right over it with barely a scratch.

Who ever heard of making cars out of plastic? I tell you what.....

Matthew Tindle
7th August, 2009 @ 09:47 pm PDT
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