By Andrew Nusca
Posting in Energy
General Motors dealers in North America will soon install solar-powered electric charging stations for Volt electric vehicles on the lot.
General Motors on Friday announced that Chevrolet dealers in North America will soon install solar-powered electric charging stations -- canopies, really -- for Volt electric vehicles on the lot.
Called "The Green Zone," the charging infrastructure will generate enough electricity to fully charge EVs like the Volt 12 times per day. (Each canopy is rated for 4,500 charges per vehicle per year.) Any surplus electricity will simply be used to keep the dealership's lights on.
The first U.S. dealerships to see the canopies will be in Modesto, Calif., and Grand Blanc, Mich.
The canopies will be powered by solar panels made by Rochester Hills, Mich.-based Sunlogics, which yesterday received a $7.5 million investment from GM Ventures. The business model is structured to prevent any upfront capital cost from the dealership.
Fittingly, GM also announced that it would double its global solar energy output, from 30 megawatts today to 60 megawatts by 2015. (GM receives just 1.4 percent of its energy from renewable sources.) The success of reaching that goal obviously hinges on how quickly the automaker can roll out its new canopies.
It's not a bad way to use the open (often sunny) expanse of an auto dealer's parking lot. Putting the asphalt to work, so to speak.
Jul 28, 2011
I think the Chevy dealers should allow any Volt owner to park their vehicle and let it charge while they go about any business they may have in the area! Maybe the PR types wanted to accentuate the point that the car was being charged?
Yes, the canopy idea seems great, but look at that picture! They really want to encourage running the electric cable underneath the car, up against the front tires? Don't they have "charging outlets" on each side to accommodate multiple vehicles, and to prevent that sort of accident-waiting-to-happen? Was the Volt's battery dead, so they couldn't move it into the next bay for the photo op? Or did the canopy designers (or installers) not know which side of the vehicle houses the electric plug? This picture screams out "negligence", or "laziness", or "idiocy" to me.
..."let's make sure the bright orange charging cable doesn't get in the way of this press photo of our pretty new car." The next bay is a fine idea, but clearly it wasn't in the cards this time.