SolarCity envisions California “solar corridor” for green drivers

September 23, 2009

Electric cars can be smooth, quiet and environmentally friendly. But they still need fuel.

Many have asked — and invested according to their answer — whether that fuel will come from batteries, utility grids, curb-side charging stations or some other technology.

Drivers in California have a new option, if they drive a Tesla electric vehicle. And it’s extra environmentally friendly.

SolarCity, which installs residential solar systems, is building a charging corridor between Los Angeles and San Francisco. There will be five 240-volt stations along the highly traveled Highway 101 that will juice up electric vehicles in one third the time of other charging stations. One of the chargers — in Santa Maria — is solar-powered.

SolarCity is working with the U.S. branch of Holland’s Rabobank to install more solar power systems at the stations, which would make the corridor the first to be entirely solar-powered.

We wanted to know if readers think this is how electric cars will roll across the country — with solar power? Or are your bets with battery technology or another type of charging station?

9 comments

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The entire power grid needs to be made as earth-friendly as possible. It also needs to be as smart as possible in distributing power.

It is unconscionable for some groups to use as a basis of power distribution the ability for some isolated segments to be the “good, green ones” for the sake of feel-good environmentalism. Power is power. It is essentially mixed now, and it should be so much more so in a smart-grid future. Power should be moved around for greatest efficiency, not for giving a warm, fuzzy, greeny feeling to a few.

Posted by Imho Dudes | Report as abusive

[...] Environment » Blog Archive » SolarCity envisions California â??solar … [...]

[...] Environment » Blog Archive » SolarCity envisions California â??solar … [...]

Theme : Addressing Range Anxieties.

1. As for long trip needs, all but Americans and many of developed nations have existing automobiles, in this regard, EVs are best suited to their daily use until the infrastructure comes into wide use. And people are already doing that.

2. With a long extension code inside, just in case, riders can get help from almost anyplace as electricity is everywhere, not to mention the stores to provide charge service, and many of EVs are equipped with a quick charger.

3. The on-board IT system shows the driving radius on a maximum range display under the current state of charge and calculates if the vehicle is within range of a pre-set destination. And the navigation system points out the latest information on available charging stations within the current driving range.

4. Unlike fuel price, as time goes by, the price of battery is expected to drop dramatically in the foreseeable future as with computer components, in that case, mounting additional battery might be not a problem. And the EVs that come in a range of 200 to 300 miles between charges are on fast-tract toward mass-market, as well.

5. Indian EV maker Reva said it has also set about addressing anxieties about e-car range, this fantastic wireless electricity/ “instant remote recharge” will be widely available down the line.

6. The vehicle-to-grid communication technology is helping the battery serve as a storage to prevent the costly blackout standing at about $90 to 100bn per year. That means utilities are shedding cost for additional storage facilities and ratepayers are selling electricity during peak demand so that EVs can make more economic sense, as we know.

It is also in the best interest of electricity utilities that EVs are going mainstream, thereby they need to put in charge stands where needed around highways, major roads with card readers or cell phone tech.

7. I’m hopeful that the charge network will extend the select districts to nation-wide scale throughout the world, and this environment can usher in active private investings in EVs. And I remain confident that investing in charge stands could give rise to multiple times as much investing effect, so to speak, some billions of investing, this simple deployment, could call into the most-sought energy independence and solid recovery around the world.

Thank You !

Posted by hsr0601 | Report as abusive

[...] Environment » Blog Archive » SolarCity envisions California â??solar … [...]

Teslas are great. I work right by the headquarters. Can’t wait to see more of these electronic vehicle charging stations.

Diversity is key to the electric car solution. One way will never solve anything. Imagination and innovation will help us in all sectors of clean energy. Tesla’s electric cars are so new that we should be grateful that people are creating them, buying them and investing in the company, and want to create a recharging corridor between SF and LA. It’s terrific and an electric car charging example for other parts of the world. Thanks entirely to Tesla motors and the engineering work of Alan Cocconi for bringing us the Roadster and Model S to date. The concept of charging stations has been in the works for awhile with Project Better Place, and the idea is a good working model for sustainable electric transportation in the form of cars. Bikes are good to.

Thanks for this information! Using alternate sources of energy will help in protecting the environment. This way we can help in reducing the effects of global warming. Solar energy also helps in saving water and money. http://j.mp/uTaHv will give you some simple tips on saving water!

Kudos to the folks behind this. It’s a tiny first step — but that they’ve taken it at all is of enormous importance.

I don’t own so much as a bicycle, as I rarely need to travel more than about a kilometer from home. Besides, I live in Bangkok, where the traffic jams are notorious.

But if I were ever to consider buying another car, I’d sure like to be able to buy an electric one.

Posted by Mekhong Kurt | Report as abusive

Very interesting article and discussion. Thank you!!

My bet is on battery technology.It will be great for the enviroment, and alot cheaper too. I would love to see electric cars out on the road, its time for change and elcectric cars seem to be heading in the right direction. thanks for the info !!! its good to know

Posted by September | Report as abusive

[...] Environment » Blog Archive » SolarCity envisions California â??solar … [...]

Read just today about a science team perfecting a *nuclear* battery that will hold 6-7 times as much energy as conventi9onal ones of equal size. They’re working on one about the size of a penny right now, but I suppose that can be scaled up, eventually anyway.

Posted by MekhongKurt | Report as abusive

[...] numerous public solar charging projects, including the world’s first solar-powered enhanced electric car charging corridor, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Now the company expects to help homeowners adopt clean [...]

[...] numerous public solar charging projects,including the world’s first solar-powered enhanced electric car charging corridor, between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Nowthe company expects to help homeowners adopt clean [...]