“Driving on Sunshine”: Electrify America Invests in 30 Off-Grid Solar Powered Charging Stations in Rural California

Electrify America is currently installing 30 portable, off-grid, solar-powered electrical vehicle (EV) charging stations in the Central Valley, the Imperial Valley and Coachella, California. The $2 million investment in charging stations fills an important need in areas where EV ownership is low and where charging infrastructure is scarce compared to urban areas, according to Petrol Plaza.

Created by Envision Solar of San Diego, CA, each charging station is powered by a 4.28 kW solar array with tracking capability and 32 kWh of battery storage. Describing its patented EnvisionTrak™️ system, the company says that including tracking capability can create an 18 to 25 percent efficiency improvement over a fixed array. Consisting of two Level 2 chargers, each station is theoretically capable of powering up to 150 miles of EV driving each day and will cost between .30-.35 cents per minute.

Electrify America says its stations can be deployed rapidly, are low cost and will help California reach its goal of installing 250,000 EV charging stations by 2025. The company has also negotiated an international deal with ChargePoint, the largest EV charging network in the US to expand the solar charging network to locations in the US and Canada where it is prohibitive to deploy grid-tied charging stations. 

Electrify America is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Volkswagen US and was created in 2017 as part of the court-ordered diesel emission settlement against the corporation. As part of the settlement, Electrify America is spending $2 billion dollars to create a national network of US charging stations that will be open to cars from any EV manufacturer.