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On July 7, Mitsubishi Motors unveiled its solar-powered charging station at its headquarters in Cypress, CA. The station, which includes two 110-volt ports, one 220-volt plug-in point and a single CHAdeMO quick-charge setup, is open to the general public. So open, in fact, that Mitsubishi says that all plug-in vehicle owners are welcome to pull in and fill up free of charge.

The solar array consists of 96 175-watt photovoltaic modules produced by Mitsubishi Electric. The DC quick-charge system was supplied by Eaton and the station itself was designed by California Green Designs.

Mitsubishi Motors North America (MMNA) president, Yoichi Yokozawa, says the solar-powered station is "not an academic test project," and states that it can be "ordered for public production." So, what's a rig like this cost? Moe Durand, manager of product communications at MMNA, says $130,000. Want one?

[Source: Mitsubishi]
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Mitsubishi Electric and Mitsubishi Motors Debut Solar-Powered Vehicle Charging Station

CYPRESS, Calif., July 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc. (Mitsubishi Electric) and Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc. (MMNA) today debuted a solar-powered charging station for electric vehicles at the MMNA headquarters in Cypress, California. This charging facility, the first of its kind in Cypress, symbolizes MMNA's commitment to electric vehicle readiness, and will help kick off the preparations as certified Mitsubishi dealers become EV-ready in anticipation of the scheduled launch date of Mitsubishi i for each state. The charging station is powered by 96, 175W photovoltaic modules from Mitsubishi Electric. This charging station will help support CHAdeMO compatible electric vehicles such as the Mitsubishi i, which will arrive in showrooms in November of this year. Mitsubishi i vehicles are now being reserved by prospective owners through a pre-order process available at i.mitsubishicars.com.


Able to charge up to four vehicles at once, the station features three types of chargers with different voltages: standard level 1 voltage (110v) will deliver a 100 percent charge in 22 hours on the new Mitsubishi i; level 2 (220v) which can charge the vehicle in six hours; and level 3 CHAdeMO Quick Charger, which can charge to 80 percent battery capacity in 25 minutes.

The DC Quick Charger used for the Cypress charging station is manufactured by the Eaton Corporation, and is the first-of-its-kind CHAdeMO Quick Charger certified for U.S. sale and public utility. The actual installation of the charging equipment and the supporting electrical infrastructure was handled by Rogers Electric. The twin-arch structure for the charging station was designed by California Green Designs.

The charging station is the first such collaboration between the two similarly named companies, whose headquarters are just a few blocks apart in northern Orange County. Situated near the junction of the 405 and 605 freeways, the hope is that the Cypress charging station, with its Quick Charge capability, can serve as a gateway charging pad for Mitsubishi i users commuting between Los Angeles and Orange counties.

"This project will build awareness of solar power's versatility and efficiency," said Katsuya Takamiya, president and chief executive officer, Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA. "As electric vehicles' popularity grows, we expect to see more charging stations at large employers, automobile dealerships, shopping centers and schools, where cars can charge while people work, shop or study."

Mitsubishi Motors North America President Yoichi Yokozawa said "We hope that our dealers, learning institutions, and municipalities will look to this technology with a keen eye towards the future, and bear in mind that the gradual acceptance of the pure-EV transportation will be aided by increasing the number of facilities like this one."

Mitsubishi Electric's solar panels are made with 100 percent lead-free solder, and have one of the higher sunlight-to-energy conversion ratios in the industry, adding to the project's efficiency and sustainability.

About Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA's Photovoltaic Division

Mitsubishi Electric is one of the world's largest manufacturers and providers of solar power technology. The company's eco-friendly photovoltaic systems are used throughout the world to bring clean, reliable energy to residences, businesses, power generation plants, schools, factories and more. Mitsubishi Electric photovoltaic panels are marketed by Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc., and sold only through approved distributors and installers. To learn more visit www.MitsubishiElectricSolar.com or call 714.220.2500.

About Mitsubishi Motors Corporation

Mitsubishi Motors North America, Inc., (MMNA) is responsible for all manufacturing, finance, sales, marketing, research and development operations for Mitsubishi Motors in the United States. MMNA sells coupes, convertibles, sedans and sport utility vehicles through a network of approximately 400 dealers. In November of 2011, MMNA will launch the battery electric Mitsubishi i as part of a corporate mission to offer consumers more environmentally responsible modes of transportation. This battery electric vehicle technology addresses the need for vehicles that produce zero tailpipe emissions and support a growing agenda for sustainability.


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  • 22 Comments
      Alan
      • 7 Months Ago
      Is there confirmation (a URL, perhaps) that charging is free and open to all? And are they available 24x7? None of that information is explicit in the press release. If it's true, I'm suddenly very happy that I paid the extra $$ for the CHAdeMO port on my LEAF. If only they could figure out a way to drive down the costs of these Level 3 chargers...
        Michael Walsh
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Alan
        Alan, I was at the event last week, and confirmed free charging for all comers with a CHAdeMO port for the immediate future. However, the word I got was that is just going to be during Mitsubishi's regular business hours. I was also told that the L3 Quick Charger is not available to the public just yet, and that it would be either this week or next week before the installation was 100% complete. Since this week is pretty much done, and I didn't hear anything from my Mitsubishi contacts, I expect it will be next week (unless, of course, they forgot to drop me a line this week).
      goodoldgorr
      • 7 Months Ago
      It's the First time i hear free fuel is offered to consumers and mitsubishi employees. Nice.
        Marco Polo
        • 7 Months Ago
        @goodoldgorr
        Hey, a sensible positive comment from good old Gorr! Well done, keep it up, mate.
      Michael Walsh
      • 7 Months Ago
      Well done, Mitsubishi! Go CHAdeMO!
      LuvmyPriusHybrid
      • 7 Months Ago
      OK, I am all for electric cars and so happy that Nissan released it's Leaf and Chevy released it's "extended-range electric vehicle" and looking forward to the Prius Plug-In Hybrid since I currently own a 2010 Prius, BUT I am so disappointed that one of the most promising cars for the future, Honda's Hydrogen powered Clarity, has taken a back seat!!! I mean the range of the Clarity is TWICE that of the electric cars AND it only take 5 MINUTES to "fill up." Not to mention the fact there are hydrogen filling stations in Southern California that makes its own hydrogen using solar panels that are on top of the station!!! AND Honda has made it's own home-made version of the solar powered hydrogen filling stations that is small enough so people can put one on their own residence!! It seems as though there are special interest groups that are preventing Honda or anyone else from trying to make their fuel cars go mainstream
        skierpage
        • 7 Months Ago
        @LuvmyPriusHybrid
        Ask Honda why they don't sell the Clarity. Since the *only* public H2 refueling stations in the entire USA appear to be in southern California (see http://www.afdc.energy.gov/afdc/locator/stations/ ), the great range.only benefits So Cal drivers concerned about the environment who drive over 100 miles a day within that area. That's a tiny market, so it seems pretty obvious to me. You can't buy the Home Energy Station, Honda stopped mentioning it in conjunction with the Clarity. There are supposedly versions of it available in Japan. (LetsTakeAWalk , please chime in ?). You're welcome to spend a fortune on expensive solar panels to make hydrogen, but for half the investment you can use solar PV to recharge an electric car to go the same distance. The special interest groups called "the $100bn+ automotive fuel industry" would *love* to see hydrogen-powered cars succeed. They just can't quite bring themselves to spend millions on hydrogen refueling stations for such an uncertain market, even though it's in their interest to do so.
      Spec
      • 7 Months Ago
      How about they sell us some of those i-MiEVs instead of installing a charging station?
      RomelS
      • 4 Years Ago
      why do they all have different front bumpers, SOMEONE EXPLAIN.
        Michael Walsh
        • 7 Months Ago
        @RomelS
        reuben is mostly right. However, the two 2011 models are also different because one has DOT compliant bumpers, which are bigger (deeper) than the Euro bumpers.
        BipDBo
        • 7 Months Ago
        @RomelS
        Now that's a puzzler.
        reuben
        • 7 Months Ago
        @RomelS
        2 are the 2011 models while the other 2 ( first 2 from the left) are the older generation.
        Jessica
        • 7 Months Ago
        @RomelS
        Some are the Japan spec version and the others are the US spec version = different bumpers.
          Michael Walsh
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Jessica
          Jessica, the two 2011 models.....the none-US one is technically not JDM spec. It's LHD (which is why I made a point of saying Euro).
      • 7 Months Ago
      Funny how it doesn't say how little electricity those panels will produce and what the cost per KWh will be.
      Dan Frederiksen
      • 7 Months Ago
      nice in principle. can refill maybe 10-15 cars a day of typical commute. price is still a little nasty though. at 2$/W the panels would be around 35k$, leaving garage structure, installation, grid tie and charge stations. the chademo itself is probably quite nastily priced in itself. not that it has to be. but they do.
        Marco Polo
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Dan Frederiksen
        "Free electricity for electric cars, Nassssty," said said the gollum to his troll companion. "Make them ssstop!"
          Dan Frederiksen
          • 7 Months Ago
          @Marco Polo
          you are curiously deranged. I didn't object to it being free. that's cool. indeed I'd advocate free chademo chargers along all major routes to get this show on the road. so to speak. kuhlifornia could suitably take the lead and make a backbone from mexico to oregon. maybe close the loop from LA to Vegas to Yosemite to Frisco. we need to be able to go to area51 in an EV too. UFOs wont respect us in crappy combustion cars.
      Josh Roberts
      • 7 Months Ago
      Pretty cool! For everyone else out there who have not had the opportunity to purchase an electric car, listen up. www.smogads.com is offering tips to help you pass your next smog check and coupons to save money. Thanks, Smog Guy
      BipDBo
      • 7 Months Ago
      Why is it curved? To be optimal, the roof should be flat, sloped to the south (north in southern hemisphere) with an angle matching the latitude. The only reason I can think that they made it with a curve is that maybe it was cheaper to build the structure that way, but I doubt that factor would be greater than optimizing the PVs. Why does it have a hole in the middle? It has no walls, so it doesn't need a skylight. That will just make the car under the hole hot.
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