New Jersey company debuts solar-powered electric vehicle charger

New Jersey company debuts solar-powered electric vehicle charger

Summary: The SunStation from Princeton Satellite Systems can charge two electric vehicles at a time.

TOPICS: Emerging Tech

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about an integrated electric vehicle charging system that is powered by a wind turbine. Now, it's the sun's turn.

New Jersey company Princeton Satellite Systems has designed a system called SunStation that relies on solar photovoltaic panels to charge the batteries on electric vehicles using a 240-volt AC connection.

There is conflicting information about how fast it will take for the technology to do its job.

The smallest system, which will cost about $27,000, uses four solar panels and can charge a 1.6-kilowatt battery in about 10 hours, according to local news coverage about the technology.

A larger configuration will be priced at about $55,000. That one will be able to fully recharge a Nissan Leaf in about eight hours, a Chevy Volt in four, and a Toyota Prius Plugin Hybrid in one and a half, according to the Princeton Satellite Systems Web site.

The company expects to sell the technology, which should be available within the next three months, to parking lot and mall operators. It also envisions the technology as a potential source of emergency power and as a booster for local electric grids. Princeton Satellite will use a wireless network to handle the payments and monitor the status of connected SunStations.

Topic: Emerging Tech

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  • So,

    I can spend $40,000 on a Chevy Volt or $35,000 on a Nissan Leaf (leaving out the hybrid on purpose here) and then spend another $27,000 for a "home solar charger", making my investment $67,000 - $62,000. For an electric car that can barely fit two people (I'm 6'7"). And I'd have to replace the batteries (minimum of $5,000) every 5 years. Plus, I could only drive the Volt 35 miles before I need to recharge; the Leaf is a little better at 73 miles.

    Nope, these are not practical vehicles and this is not a practical home accessory.
  • Volts for cars

    So far, I have not seen an electric vehicle that fits a cost package that makes it viable for the "middle class" budget. What a waste of time. There are a few other alternative sources that would make the vehicles affordable and the power used reasonable. Electric is not there yet. Our government needs to get out of the subsidizing business for these things...among others. Solar has not moved forward far enough for either residential or vehicle use. Let's move on.