While solar panels are not yet efficient enough to plop down on an electric vehicle's roof and charge as you go, the idea of powering an EV with the sun is tremendously appealing. A new system called SP-300 EV Plug-N-Go by SunPods is currently being used in San Jose to collect the sun's rays for use in plug-in vehicles. SunPods are "world's first transportable, modular, integrated solar powered electric vehicle charging station, ready to power up on delivery." What this means is that solar charging is now towable, and companies could offer totally emission-free EV power on demand, without major installation issues.

The City of San Jose, where the SunPods are made, is testing one SP-300 EV Plug-N-Go unit. The device connects to the grid and could be used by utilities to get solar power when there's no vehicle attached. The SunPod also has a battery to store solar power when there is no demand for it. If needed, the SP-300 can also power the EV from the grid. SunPods president and co-founder Dan Jaeger said in a statement that, "It just didn't make sense for us to power electric cars with electricity produced by burning coal and other carbon based fuels and make a positive environmental difference. All you are doing is trading gasoline for coal, not a good idea." While he's right that solar > coal to charge an EV, the inherent efficiency of an electric car over an ICE vehicle does mean that there is a strong argument to be made for trading gasoline for coal (as an interim step, at the very least).

This isn't the first trailer-based electric vehicle idea we've seen, but it is up and running today, which is more than we can say for NuTech.

[Source: SunPods via Autopia]

PRESS RELEASE:

Solar powered electric vehicle charging station by SunPods Inc. unveiled with the City of San Jose.

San Jose CA. SunPods announced today the first public demonstration of their revolutionary SunPods' EV Plug-N-GoTM Solar Powered EV Charging System. The world's first transportable, modular, integrated solar powered electric vehicle charging station, ready to power up on delivery.

The SunPods SP-300 EV Plug-N-Go designed specifically for companies, institutions and public agencies that need an instant solar powered infrastructure solution for on- road electric vehicles (EV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV) and electrical industrial utility vehicles. The SunPods EV Plug-N-Go deploys rapidly, building a lasting green power infrastructure solution for today's electrical powered vehicles.

Built with SunPods' advanced Solar Smart TechnologiesTM and designed as a solar appliance. The SunPods SP-300 EV Plug-N-Go is pre-engineered, pre-manufactured, and pre-tested in a rigorous factory setting for optimal performance and delivered from our factory to your site, on your schedule, requiring minimal site preparation and no on- site assembly. SunPods are ready to interconnect and power up on delivery, requiring only an electrician to make the connections.

"We appreciate the City of San Jose for their support in setting up this solar powered EV charging station demonstration and providing the PHEV car and their continued support to Cleantech startups in San Jose and the goals the City set towards growing a green environment and the Cleantech jobs the City is helping to create", says Michael Gumm, one of SunPods co-founders.

According to Dan Jaeger, president and co-founder of SunPods, "it just didn't make sense for us to power electric cars with electricity produced by burning coal and other carbon based fuels and make a positive environmental difference. All you are doing is trading gasoline for coal, not a good idea. The core idea behind SunPods is to make solar power simple and easy to use anywhere and to displace fossil based energy with non-carbon, clean renewable solar power".

SunPods SP-300 EV Plug-N-Go modular, integrated solar power platforms are engineered for both on-grid and off-grid installations. In one configuration, the SunPods SP-300 net-meters solar power to the grid, offsetting carbon based grid power. In another design, the SP-300 equipped using the latest battery systems provides optimal power storage and buffering between the electrical vehicle and utility grid.

The SP-300 is a bi-directional system, allowing power input and output with both solar and grid connected power sources. Smart Grid capable, as grid connections become Smart Grid enabled, utilities will be able to access and manage the SunPods stored energy at peak demand times.

About SunPods, Inc
SunPods is the innovator and manufacturer of SunPods Solar Smart Technology Systems. SunPods, the world's first solar appliance are transportable, the first factory to project, modular solar power platforms for permanent placement. SunPods power up on arrival, no assembly needed and only require an electrical hookup from the inverter to power up



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