Solar Chargers Will Be A Total Game-Changer For EV Owners

Industry News / 11 Comments

No more sitting at the back of a lot to charge your EV.

The onset of electric vehicles offers different nations a chance to rethink much of their urban planning. The United States is one of the more egregious offenders, with massive open parking lots that lead to sweltering heat in the summer and icy wastelands of nothingness come winter. A UK-based company, 3ti, has a potential solution to at least part of these issues, and one that should have been implemented long ago.

What you're looking at is a Kia EV6 charging under a solar canopy, something that'll offer a raft of benefits for EV owners. Combining solar tech and charging is an alternative that we simply don't explore enough.


"Solar is an abundant source of renewable energy - yield from our first Papilio3 unit at Surrey Research Park has already topped 4.86MWh, and all 12 charging points have been in regular use," says Tim Evans, 3ti founder and CEO. "The most recent International Energy Agency statistics show that, thanks to higher solar and wind power generation, renewable electricity production is up by 9.8% year-on-year across all Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries, but there is still plenty of room for further improvement."

3ti says its Papilio3 station is built around a recycled shipping container and can be deployed within 24 hours, integrating what 3ti says it's best at: solar electricity generation, battery energy storage, and EV charge points. The batteries will store up to 250kW for (literally) rainy days, and the charge points offer 7, 11, and 22 kWs.

"SCPs have already displayed vast potential as a method of generating renewable energy," continues Evans. "In June, for example, just one of our customer sites produced 290MWh from a 2.2 MWp solar array. At current prices, that's over $65,800 [USD] worth of electricity."

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It's hard not to overstate the benefits of a system like this. While 3ti's system is in its infancy, a fully operational network of solar charging units with this level of flexibility will seriously change charging. By flexibility, we mean where the chargers can be placed. The units could back up off a transformer, or be placed standalone in locations with intense sunshine. No more sitting at the back of a Walmart waiting to get mugged next to a buzzing transformer to charge your EV.

Crowdfunding for the system recently opened up and 3ti says it has already tripled its $506,000 USD target. Should the company succeed, we expect these units will drastically change how we approach charging. And just think of the possibilities for remote areas or those with poor infrastructure.


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