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.