Two California Rest Areas to Get Solar-Powered Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

by | Sep 13, 2018


Envision Solar International, Inc. recently announced that the Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have partnered to place Envision’s new solar-powered EV ARC HP (High-Powered) DC fast-charging system at two Caltrans Safety Roadside Rest Areas (SRRA) on US101 in rural Monterey County.

The State of California has set a goal of having at least 1.5 million EVs in use in the State by 2025 and Governor Jerry Brown‘s Executive Order B-48-18 directs State entities to work with the private sector and all appropriate levels of government to spur the construction and installation of 250,000 zero-emission vehicle chargers, including 10,000 direct current (DC) fast chargers, by 2025.

The Governor has tasked State government with accelerating the use of EVs by increasing convenient access to charging stations. More stations are needed, especially in rural areas, to facilitate long distance travel by EV and to reduce EV driver anxiety about charging station gaps.

“The Camp Roberts Safety Roadside Rest Areas on Highway 101 are critical need locations for electric vehicle charging,” said Alan Romero, Monterey Bay Air Resources District. “There are currently well over 350,000 EVs on the road in California, which will continue to increase exponentially as new EVs enter the marketplace. By installing EV charging infrastructure at strategic locations on major roadway corridors throughout the state, EVs, whether medium or long range, will be able to travel with greater ease, convenience and zero tail-pipe emissions.”

Funding for the charging stations at SRRAs is part of a broader effort by MBARD to implement their Plug-In Monterey Bay EV Infrastructure Program. These installations will be the first solar-powered DC fast-charging stations ever placed in a Caltrans rest area. The San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District has also embraced this new technology and is contributing funds to a similar project planned for the Caltrans Shandon SRRA on State Route 46.

“Our new EV ARC HP meets the increasing requirement for DC fast charging without any of the significant construction and electrical work required by grid-tied units,” said Desmond Wheatley, CEO of Envision Solar. “It’s great to have been selected by thought leaders like MBARD and Caltrans to provide the ‘driving on sunshine’ experience to California motorists. Together we are tackling the largest contributor to pollution in the State and we are delighted that other agencies are already taking notice of this fantastic initiative. I believe that this new product will create another significant area of growth for our company.”

Rest area electrical systems are typically designed for lighting but don’t usually have the energy necessary for a fast-charging station. EV ARC HP units are solar-powered and self-contained, so they don’t require expensive electrical upgrades, disruptive trenching or new foundations. They are designed to fit within standard parking spaces and can be installed in less than a day. If needs change, the units can be easily moved to a new location. Energy generation is enhanced by EnvisionTrak, which reorients the solar array to follow the sun, generating 25% more electricity than a fixed array. Enhanced battery storage capacity ensures EV charging day or night. The units can be used to meet vital energy needs and will continue to charge EVs during power outages or emergencies.

Rapid deployment, flexible use, environmentally impact-free installation and low-cost long-term operation of the solar-powered EV ARC HP system aligns seamlessly with sustainable transportation goals and air quality improvement.

Invented and manufactured in California, the patented EV ARC and EV ARC HP products fit inside a parking space without reducing available parking. EV ARC HP DC fast charging installations generate enough clean solar electricity to power up to 1100 miles of EV driving in a day. The system’s solar electrical generation is enhanced by EnvisionTrak which causes the array to follow the sun, generating up to 25% more electricity than a fixed array. The energy is stored in the EV ARC product’s energy storage for charging day or night, and to provide emergency power during grid failure. The EV ARC product is a permanent solution that provides Level I, Level II and DC Fast Charging but because it requires no trenching, foundations or installation work of any kind, it is deployed in minutes and can be moved to a new location with ease.


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