Electric Vehicle Charging


Electric Vehicles

Transportation is a major source of outdoor air pollution. Transportation accounts for one-quarter of greenhouse gas emissions and one-third of fossil fuel consumption. Carbon dioxide is one of the principal greenhouse gases, which causes global warming and climate change. Eighty-five percent of the high levels of greenhouse gases in the transport sector, including carbon dioxide, can be attributed to vehicle emissions. In order to slow the rate of climate change and to protect people’s health, the amount of air pollutants must be reduced. Specifically, in order to decrease carbon emissions by 80%, electric power must be less dependent on fossil fuels and transportation must be electric. Therefore, the world is shifting towards electric vehicles and renewable energy.

The most viable current options for making this transition are solar power generation and increased infrastructure for electric powered transportation. Both of these are important steps in reducing carbon emissions. 

These two changes can be combined to maximize their impacts: solar power can be used with charging stations to generate electricity to reduce fossil fuel consumption. Many questions surround the adoption of solar power, of electric cars, and the combination of both of these new technologies together as Solar Powered Charging Stations (SPCS). The business plan is intended to demonstrate the sustainable development by constructing a network of SPCS to provide charging infrastructure in convenient locations for electric vehicles across the nation. The purpose of this plan is to present the viability of solar powered charging of electric vehicles including public reception, physical logistics, business models, and economic viability. 

Although electric vehicles reduce carbon emissions and reliance on foreign-oil, emissions issues are still present if fossil fuels are used for electricity generation. However, electric vehicles can be net zero emission vehicles if solar power generates the electricity. Electric vehicles charged using solar power emit 96% less mass of pollutants than all-electric vehicles using the grid (with four percent of pollutants remaining from brake and tire wear). In addition, photovoltaics emit no noise, chemical pollutants or radioactive substances during use, so they are not added nuisances to the surrounding community. Although solar panels have some carbon dioxide emissions associated with their production, the panels become carbon neutral in two years, and have an average lifetime of over 20 years.

Benefits of SPCS

Physically, SPCS are typically structures several feet tall with solar panels on slanted roofs and with an electric charging station underneath. One social value associated with SPCS is convenience since SPCS can be installed at many diverse locations such as work places, shopping centers, restaurants, rest stops along highways, gyms, parks, and more, allowing people to charge their vehicle while completing daily activities. An infrastructure of many SPCS allows EV owners to charge their EV more frequently, which facilitates driving further before returning home. SPCS also provide shade for the charging vehicle. Shade significantly reduces the internal temperature of the vehicle and protects the car from sun damage, such as warping and cracked interiors. Based upon different studies, internal temperature of small cars drops from 172 degrees Fahrenheit when in direct sunlight to 111 degrees Fahrenheit when under shade. This lower internal temperature results in more comfortable conditions for drivers entering their car and reduces risk of heat stroke.

There are three possible charge levels (level 1–3) for electric car charging stations, with following details:-
  • Level 1 is the slowest and least expensive charging level for electric cars, and charges plug-in vehicles at a power level of about 2 kW, which provides 16 kWh in 8 h. Since typical work-days are eight hours long, the electric vehicle could be fully recharged using this simplest charge level while sitting in the parking lot during the work day. When the vehicle owner returned home, they could plug in their vehicle again, if necessary, to recharge for their next destination. Since cars are parked about 95% of the time, it is logical to use this sedentary time effectively and charge electric vehicles while owners work or complete other tasks.

  • Level 2 uses two types of plugs which includes 240V for residential and 208V for commercial and can also be installed as part of a solar panel system. Level 2 electric car chargers deliver 10 to 60 miles of range per hour of charging. They can fully charge an electric car battery in as little as two hours, making them an ideal option for both homeowners who need fast charging and businesses who want to offer charging stations to customers.

  • Level 3 charger also known as DC Fast Chargers can offer 60 to 100 miles of range for your electric car in just 20 minutes of charging. However, they are typically only used in commercial and industrial applications – they require highly specialized, high-powered equipment to install and maintain. Not all electric cars can be charged with the use of DC Fast Chargers. Most plug-in hybrid EVs don’t have this charging capability, and some all-electric vehicles cannot be charged with a DC Fast Charger. The Mitsubishi “i” and Nissan Leaf are two examples of electric cars that are DC Fast Charger enabled.