SolarCity to create solar-powered electric vehicle chargers

27 Jul 2011

US solar power giant SolarCity is teaming up with electric vehicle charging pioneer ClipperCreek to introduce solar-powered electric vehicle chargers to the US marketplace. It claims these chargers could save Americans up to 77pc on fuel costs.

In June Google invested US$280m in a novel new fund to allow SolarCity to build and lease solar power systems in the 10 US states it operates in.

SolarCity will initially install ClipperCreek elecrtric vehicle (EV) chargers through its 24 operations centres in the US. The installation of the 240-volt electric Level II vehicle charger, including the charger, will start at US$1,500. It says charging at Level II is roughly five times faster than using a 120-volt wall outlet.

According to the company, powering an EV with electricity generated from a home solar system can be 77pc less expensive than powering a car with gas.

Carbon-free electricity

“SolarCity’s mission has always been to help homeowners and businesses adopt clean power while saving on energy costs,” said Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity, today. “Electric cars are already among the cleanest-running vehicles on the road – charging them on solar makes them that much better.

“Tens of thousands of electric cars will be delivered over the next year alone, with hundreds of thousands expected over the next five years. We’re making it easier to power them with carbon-free electricity for zero emissions, and to dramatically reduce the cost of driving.”

ClipperCreek chargers are already designed for use with the Chevrolet Volt, the Ford Transit Connect, Nissan Leaf, Tesla Roadster as well as yet-to-be-released SAE-compatible plug-in vehicles. The company provides EVSE chargers for BMW’s Mini-E and for Tesla Motors’ Level 2 EVSE charging stations. It also provides chargers to power Mercedes, General Motors and Nissan vehicles.

SolarCity installed a solar-powered enhanced electric car-charging corridor between Los Angeles and San Francisco in 2009.

Photo: Tesla Roadster, for which ClipperCreek has already created chargers. Image courtesy of Tesla

Carmel Doyle was a long-time reporter with Silicon Republic