Thursday, April 9, 2009

Chicago Unveils Solar Powered EV Charging Stations

Examiner/Matt Kelly/April 9, 2009

Coulomb Technologies, the Silicon Valley-based developer of the Smartlet, an individually controlled charging station located in public and private parking areas, just announced the unveiling of the nation's first solar-powered electric vehicle charging station in the city of Chicago.

The announcement is a joint statement with Carbon Day Automotive, the US midwest distributor of the Coulomb Technologies ChargePoint™ Networked Charging Stations and a division of Carbon Day, an organization dedicated to increasing environmental awareness by encouraging people to play a part in saving the planet.

But Chicago? Really?

On average Chicago boasts maybe 84 sunny days per year, while Los Angeles by contrast has 300+, more than most American cities, except perhaps some desert southwest locales. The City of Angels also has one of the most dedicated EV communities, a utility company, Southern California Edison, that is passionate about smart-grid technology which they are investing millions of dollars in, and a public-transportation system that when compared to smaller, less car-focused cities, like Chicago, is sorely lacking.

And remember LA in the '70's? You could hardly breathe due to the smog here, and it was this city that showed the world how progressive policies can clean up the air. Because of this, I find it hard to believe that any community will embrace this public-charging technology more so that Angelenos.

Richard Lowenthal, Coulomb founder and CEO, agrees. "Coulomb is anxious to bring clean cars and clean fueling to Los Angeles. Our partner in Southern California, Clean Fuel Connection, has the people, the skills, and the technology to make LA a leader in the transformation to vehicles that don’t rely on imported oil and keep our air clean.

He adds, "Los Angeles showed the world in the 70’s that it could clean up its air, and now it could be a leader in the revolution to electric vehicles. We just await a signal from Los Angeles that they’re ready to welcome back electric vehicles."

Coulomb also recently announced a deployment of its technology in a partnership between the city of Walnut Creek, CA and 511 Contra Costa, a transportation demand management program, which promotes green transportation alternatives, installing three electric vehicle charging stations in city-owned downtown parking garages, serving 150-volt and 220-volt plug-in electric and hybrid cars. Coulomb also is in negotiations with the cities of Seattle, WA and Portland, OR, and there are unconfirmed rumors Santa Monica and Pasadena, CA will also be deploying their technology.

What's obvious is that LA needs leadership on this issue from the Mayor's office and City Hall in the form of clear policy decisions, which would create jobs and would cost almost nothing to install thanks to $400 million in Federal stimulus funding available through the Clean Cities organization. Then, once again LA can show the world that we can lead the way in clean air and clean transportation.

See the original article here

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