Envision Solar has been chosen to install General Motors’ CleanCharge solar powered electric-vehicle (EV) charging stations integrated into EnvisionTrak tracking Solar Trees at several sites. This is a highly engineered parking lot solar array that is 20 to 25% more productive than conventional fixed solar arrays.
The Solar Tree with EnvisionTrak is capable of dual access tracking which means that the canopy can follow the sun all day. Bob Noble, CEO of Envision Solar, expressed his pleasure at having been chosen by General Motors for these installations that will “enable Chevy Volts to leverage clean solar power to recharge their batteries without relying on carbon fuel generated electricity.”
Noble also wanted to commend the commitment that GM has shown to clean energy and green job creation. In November 2010, the Chevy Volt extended-range electric car is expected to arrive at showrooms in California, Michigan, Washington, D.C., Texas and New York. This model will hit showrooms in New Jersey and Connecticut in mid-2011.
While most of the charging stations will be placed in consumer garages, driveways and carports, around 18 stations will be installed in and around the Renaissance Center. Two of these charging stations were placed in front of GM's headquarters, just right at the building's entrance at Jefferson Ave.
These 18 charging stations will be operational within the next week. On the other hand, GM also installed charging stations for employee use in Michigan -- including 34 units at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly site and 140 in homes of employees who are driving early-build Volts for quality evaluation. Interestingly, solar energy is bound to power a number of charging stations placed at GM sites.
For instance, photovoltaic systems from SunLogics Inc. powers around 10 charging stations at the Detroit-Hamtramck assembly center. Envision Solar International, meanwhile, will provide its Solar Tree with EnvisionTrak system at GM's Warren Technical Center and Milford Proving Ground.
In 2007, GM inked a partnership with DTE, Consumers Energy, the Electric Power Research Institute and over 50 other utilities, as the carmaker saw a need to place charging stations both for the public and at the workplace. A number of these utilities are or will be initiating similar programs in order to ready customers for electrification.
The United States Department of Energy has chosen nine regions in the country to lead the electrification movement, one of which is the state of Michigan. Free home charging stations – as provided by ECOtality and Coulomb Technologies -- will be made available to around 4,400 Volt owners through a program sponsored by the DOE.