When you’re generating a surplus of energy — similar to these solar-powered homeowners — having a sporty electrical vehicle seems to make sense. EVs and plug-in hybrids are becoming more popular, and I’ve seen all sorts of garage products for charging them. Perhaps one of the more interesting models of late is this EVSE-RS Plug-in charging station by AeroVironment. The portable, DIY charger just needs a dedicated 240-volt service and the station can be mounted and installed in a pinch.
Carolyn and Kyle Cave, both university professors in Hadley, Massachusetts, built this super-insulated home to minimize energy consumption. Then they dropped a 20kW solar PV array on the roof and now use energy from the sun to generate a surplus that also powers this tiny little Wheego LiFe electric vehicle. I was able to ask Carolyn Cave a few questions about their solar-powered situation, and this is a portion of that response:
EV owners benefit from an efficient engine and a domestic energy source; however, the energy source will likely be electricity derived from coal and natural gas and maybe a little bit from nuclear and renewable sources like hydro, solar, and wind. To improve this, Ford and SunPower Corp. today announced a new initiative called “Drive Green for Life” to offer solar power to purchasers of Focus Electric and the C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles.
In the rapidly changing landscape of automobiles, what will your garage look like to accommodate all electric or plug-in hybrid vehicles? Ford has worked with many partners in the development of their home charging system for the electric Focus, to be released this year, and the upcoming plug-in hybrid and electric versions of the all new C-MAX.
Earlier we took a look at GE Wattstation and the Coulomb CT500, but there’s another player, ECOtality, that’s looking to stake a claim in this area. The company just unveiled their sexy new electric vehicle charging station, Blink, which will be available in two models, one a wall-mount for the home and the other a stand-alone unit for commercial use.
While not as sexy as the WattStation, Coulomb Technologies today unveiled a new charging station that could be found in thousands of homes across the country over the next few years. Referred to as CT500, the Level II charging station is compatible with electric vehicles using the SAE J1772 standard and is perfect for residential or light commercial use.