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The Green Life: EV Charging Stations to Green a Scenic California Highway

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September 22, 2009

EV Charging Stations to Green a Scenic California Highway

Fast-charging solar stations plan to be installed along Highway 101

California never ceases to impress. Just when driving around town with electric cars is becoming more popular again (see Who Killed the Electric Car?), the state pushes the limits of innovation for renewable transportation technology. Plans for the world’s first solar-powered, electric-vehicle-charging corridor were announced today, with SolarCity and Rabobank teaming up to create a carbon-free trip that would stretch about 400 miles along Highway 101 from San Francisco to Los Angeles.

The plan will open doors to EV long-distance commutes, which are pretty much an anomaly because of the anxiety of battery duration and lack of recharging stations. SolarCity will place Tesla fast-charging stations at Salinas, Atascadero, Santa Maria, and Goleta. The focus is initially on Tesla Motors, which is based in the Bay Area, but the plan will be to retrofit these to fit all electric vehicles while eventually making all the stations solar-powered.

But what about charging time? Lengthy recharges might deter some from extended journeys, but SolarCity – which boasts more than 2,500 installations – is using chargers that take a third the amount of time.

With zero emissions and faster charging times, there isn't much more of an incentive to explore the two bustling cities and everything in between. But if it could become any easier or efficient, California will probably find a way.

--Michael Mullaley


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