Anyone interested in electric car technology will be intrigued by the November trial installation of San Diego-based Envision Solar’s EV ARC (Electric Vehicle Autonomous Renewable Charger) station offered free at San Diego’s International Airport. The test run, which began on Tuesday, November 12th, was intended to last for a two-week period, but was extended through the end of the month because of its success and popularity.
Praise for the trial came from David Boenitz, director of ground transportation for the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority, who noted of the experiment, “We’re pleased to offer Envision Solar the space to conduct the trial and are looking forward to seeing the data generated by the EV ARC’s test-deployment in our Cell Phone Lot. Doing so will help us learn more about how airport customers value access to such a platform.”
This charging station is attractive to public facilities because the standalone unit requires no trenching, no foundation, no building permit, no energy grid connection, and it takes up only one standard-size parking space. Envision Solar debuted the EV ARC in August and is marketing the product globally. The system, engineered and manufactured in the United States, can generates approximately 16 kWhrs per day using EnvisionTrak, a proprietary and patent pending tracking solution enabling the unit’s solar array to track the sun, boosting electricity generation by 18 to 25 percent.
Desmond Wheatley, President and CEO of Envision Solar, said of the rollout, “Our goal was to provide a transportable and easy to install, completely green energy charging system without any negative impact to the cell phone lot at the airport. We are grateful to the San Diego International Airport for allowing us to showcase that we have clearly delivered on this goal — within minutes of delivery, we had an electric vehicle plugged in and charging.” Wheatley refers to the process poetically, as “driving on sunshine.”
This positive news follows dubious performance of other EV charging enterprises throughout 2013. New Jersey-based NRG Energy Inc., for example, has completed installation of merely 10 percent of its promised chargers for the year (110 of 1,040). And ECOtality’s September bankruptcy left in doubt the fate of approximately 800 commercial plug-in charger locations of the Blink Network, until Miami Beach’s CarCharging Group in October purchased the assets for $3.3 million in cash.