I live in New Jersey, so I have seen my fair share of solar installations -- some of which are sited in parking lots, where they may or may not be charging electric vehicles.
Indeed, it's not unusual to see renewable energy sources being added to electric vehicle chargers to keep the entire system off the electric grid as much as possible.
That's the thinking behind a new integrated solution called Sanya Skypump from General Electric's industrial division and Urban Green Energy, a renewable energy technology manufacturer based in New York.
The system pairs GE's DuraStation electric vehicle chargers with Urban Green Energy's 4-kilowatt vertical wind turbines. Durastation takes 4-8 hours to charge a battery. The UGE wind turbine rises 42 feet into the sky, requires winds at least 7 miles per hour to generate power.
The first installation of Sanya Skypump is near Barcelona, Spain, at the headquarters of Cespa, an environmental services company. More installations are planned for the United States and Australia before the end of 2012 at shopping malls, universities and other locations. Details on pricing weren't available, but the companies say the system takes less than two hours to install.