GM partners with Envision Solar for Chevy Volt recharging

October 25, 2010 By Susan Carpenter

"Every electric vehicle is the equivalent of one or two single-family residences in terms of impact on the electric grid," said Desmond Wheatley, president of Envision Solar in San Diego.

To help offset that impact, Envision has partnered with General Motors to provide solar-powered charging "trees" to GM dealers selling its soon-to-be released Chevy Volt. The Volt is a plug-in electric vehicle that runs on a 16-kilowatt and a range-extending gas engine.

"We're leading in introducing to the marketplace a vehicle that is powered by electricity. We see electrification of automobiles as being the long-term play," said Sharon Basel, manager of GM's environment, energy and advanced technology communications. "For that to really happen, infrastructure needs to be developed. We're looking all the time to expand our involvement with powering facilities by renewable sources like solar, so this was just a natural step for us as we talk about leading and building a business infrastructure."

Envision solar trees track with the sun to maximize . Set up in one- and six-parking-space configurations, each space can generate enough electricity to fully charge one Volt in a day.

In addition to , the solar trees provide shade, because, Wheatley says, 80 percent of the electricity an electric vehicle takes on board after first plugging in goes to cooling the battery to a temperature that will accept a charge.

Although some of the trees are transportable, most will be tied in to the grid. The charging stations within the trees are provided through existing providers, such as Ecotality and Coulomb Technologies, and will consist of Level 1 (120-volt) and Level 2 (240-volt) chargers. Each charge will cost about one-third as much as refueling a gas vehicle, Wheatley said.

Envision solar trees already exist on university campuses. In partnership with GM, they will be installed at the manufacturer's world headquarters in Detroit in addition to dealerships in key launch markets for the Volt: California, Texas, Michigan, New York, Connecticut and Washington, D.C. Installations will begin at the end of this year.

"The whole goal is to reduce dependence on petroleum and reduce overall emissions," GM's Basel said. "To get electricity from renewable sources like the sun is an ideal condition."

Explore further: Chicago Installs Solar Powered Charging Station for Electric Vehicles

0 shares

Related Stories

GM says Volt will be landmark fuel savings vehicle

August 11, 2009

Troubled auto giant General Motors said Tuesday its new electric sedan, the Chevrolet Volt, will be marketed in 2011 as the first mass produced vehicle capable of achieving three-digit fuel savings.

Chicago EV Charging Station Powered by Wind

February 17, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The "Windy City" is about to make use of that natural source of power, thanks to the addition of an electric vehicle (EV) charging station. Last year, Chicago offered the first solar powered charging station, ...

Parking lots could become 'solar groves' (w/ Video)

July 12, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- Architect Robert Noble, who specializes in sustainable design has come up with the idea of turning parking lots into "solar groves" that shade the vehicles, generate electricity, and serve as recharging stations ...

Recommended for you

Team develops targeted drug delivery to lung

September 2, 2015

Researchers from Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) have developed a new method that can target delivery of very small volumes of drugs into the lung. Their approach, in which micro-liters ...

Not another new phone! But Nextbit's Robin is smarter

September 2, 2015

San Francisco-based Nextbit wants you to meet Robin, which they consider as the smarter smartphone. Their premise is that no one is making a smart smartphone; when you get so big it's hard to see the forest through the trees. ...

Team creates functional ultrathin solar cells

August 27, 2015

(Phys.org)—A team of researchers with Johannes Kepler University Linz in Austria has developed an ultrathin solar cell for use in lightweight and flexible applications. In their paper published in the journal Nature Materials, ...

Magnetic fields provide a new way to communicate wirelessly

September 1, 2015

Electrical engineers at the University of California, San Diego demonstrated a new wireless communication technique that works by sending magnetic signals through the human body. The new technology could offer a lower power ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.