Continuing its ten-year project to spend Volkswagen diesel-emissions penalties on zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, Electrify America will invest $2 million to install 30 solar-powered charging stations in rural California.
Located in the Central, Coachella, and Imperial Valleys, the stations will not be connected to the grid, according to Electrify America. So drivers will charge using 100% renewable energy.
The stations, supplied by EV ARC, will each have a 4.28-kilowatt sun-tracking solar array canopy, 32-kilowatt-hour energy-storage battery pack, and two Level 2 charging plugs.
The setup will allow two cars to charge simultaneously regardless of weather or time of day, according to Electrify America.
Disconnecting from the grid will make installation easier, Electrify America said. Installation takes "minutes" and does not require any construction, according to Electrify America. The charging stations are simply dropped into standard parking spaces.
Envision Solar EV ARC solar charging station
Because they are not connected to the grid, standalone solar charging stations can also keep operating during blackouts. The EV ARC stations are designed to withstand winds up to 120 mph and flooding up to 9.5 feet, according to Electrify America.
Charging an electric car using solar energy lowers its overall carbon emissions even further.
That, along with the streamlined installation process described by Electrify America, led to a host of automaker-designed solar carport charging stations several years ago.
Recently, emphasis seems to have shifted to connecting more conventional charging stations to large solar arrays. Electrify America's choice of EV ARC stations shows the self-contained concept may be getting a second wind.
Electrify America is currently in the second of four planned 30-month investment cycles for charging infrastructure. The current cycle calls for $200 million to be spent in California on both Level 2 and DC fast-charging stations, as well as charging infrastructure to support electric buses.
While Electrify America charging stations are funded by Volkswagen, they are open to use by electric cars from all manufacturers.