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Mitsubishi Joins The Crowd, Unveils Solar Charging Station At HQ

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Solar powered electric-car charging facility, Mitsubishi headquarters, Cypress, CA

Solar powered electric-car charging facility, Mitsubishi headquarters, Cypress, CA

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It's moving from an innovation to a fad, this business of solar-powered charging stations for electric cars.

The latest car company to jump on the bandwagon is Mitsubishi, which will launch the diminutive four-door, four-seat 2012 Mitsubishi 'i' electric minicar in November at a price of just $27,990 before incentives.

The company recently unveiled a unique solar-powered charging setup at its headquarters in Cypress, California. It's powered by 96 photovoltaic modules from another Mitsubishi company, and can charge up to four vehicles at once.

Eaton CHAdeMO DC quick charging station, Mitsubishi headquarters, Cypress, CA

Eaton CHAdeMO DC quick charging station, Mitsubishi headquarters, Cypress, CA

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The unusual wrinkle is that it offers three different kinds of charging: Level I (110-Volt), Level 2 (220-Volt), and Level 3 CHAdeMO DC quick charging (an option on both the 2012 'i' and, at $700, the current 2011 Nissan Leaf).

It's the first solar-powered DC quick-charge station in the U.S., and employs a charging station built by Eaton Corp. that is the first CHAdeMO Quick Charger certified for U.S. sales.

Mitsubishi joins both Nissan, which has solar charging stations at its assembly plant in Tennessee, and General Motors, which installed solar charging stations at the Detroit-Hamtramck plant where it builds the 2011 Chevy Volt range-extended electric car. 

Last month, GE Energy (makers of the WattStation home recharging station for plug-in cars) installed a V-shaped parking shelter with solar panels on the top at its headquarters in Plainville, Connecticut. It covers 40 parking spaces, six of which have charging stations (made by GE, of course).

Other solar carports can be found on a waterfront in New York, and in Silicon Valley at Google's headquarters, courtesy of the search engine's RechargeIT Plug-in  Hybrid Car Initiative. Even the Air Force is getting into the act.

[Mitsubishi]

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Comments (4)
  1. This is great dual use technology. If the actually solar panel is also the roof, it is a great savings.

    In contrast, on my house I have both a roof and then solar panels on top of the roof. Really a waste of materials.
     
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  2. @John B. I agree 100%. For me, the switch to an EV has to come first but the look at a home solar system may not be far behind. I hesitated once due to a possible relocation but now am doing initial research.
    No need for too many details, but overall, how pleased are you with the solar setup you have now?
     
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  3. robok2,
    Personally, I am very happy with the solar PV panels. Considering the cost of electricity in Massachusetts and government incentives, the panels will pay for themselves as well as help the environment.

    However, the amount of electricity produced is a modest 3000 KWH/year. This would drive an EV about 9,000 miles/year, or power my home, but not both.
    Thanks
    John C. Briggs
     
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  4. @John B, thanks! I've got some work to do on research, of course. I started looking into geothermal and solar years ago and was ready to pull the trigger on geothermal in 2007 when a possible relocation made me hesitate. Now, I'm still very interested in geothermal, but my impending (?) purchase of an EV has possibly reversed the priorities for me.
     
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