Pittsburgh debuts solar charging stations for its electric vehicle fleet
April 24, 2018
Mayor William Peduto joined other city officials in debuting five solar charging stations for the city’s growing fleet of electrical vehicles.
The Envision Solar EV ARC charging stations are 100 percent emissions free. Mayor Peduto has committed to making the city’s entire vehicle fleet fossil fuel free by 2030.
“These solar charging stations will not only help us expand our portfolio of electric vehicles but also assist Pittsburgh’s resilience efforts. They will provide us with a new power source during the increasingly common severe weather events that take the rest of the power grid down,” Mayor Peduto said.
The units from Envision Solar International in San Diego are also equipped with emergency power (E-power) panels, which allow for their use as emergency generators during disasters or other grid outages.
The city currently has four electric vehicles in its fleet. Later this spring the Department of Permits, Licenses and Inspections will be receiving another six new Chevy Bolts. All will be charged at these stations.
The stations are currently for the city fleet only but plans are ultimately to allow them for use by the public.
An internal combustion car equivalent to the current PLI fleet that drives 8,000 miles per year emits more than 8,000 pounds of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere each year. Driving a plug-in EV and powering the vehicle from the grid reduces those emissions by 62 percent; however to charge those vehicles from the grid still emits about 3,000 pounds of CO2 equivalent into the atmosphere each year.
“Charging an EV with the EV ARC reduces these carbon emissions by 100 percent. You are driving on sunshine,” said Chuck O’Neill, the city’s senior manager of fleet and assets.
Enough solar energy is captured in one day to charge up to 225 miles of electric driving per day. Driving 10 DPLI cars consistently on sunshine each year saves more than $8,000 per year in fuel costs.
The cost of each unit was $84,000 but the city will be reimbursed half of the cost through the state’s Alternative Fuels Incentive Grant (AFIG).