Fresno, CA – CALSTART in partnership with the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA) and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District(SJVAPCD) unveiled a model program providing solar powered electric vehicle charging stations in 13 rural incorporated cities in Fresno County. This is the largest deployment of solar powered electric vehicle charging stations in the San Joaquin Valley, and the first to link all the rural cities in one single county.
FCRTA selected the CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center to help them develop and implement the concept. Both the SJVAPCD and FCRTA provided funding for the actual purchase and deployment of the solar charging stations that include back-up energy storage for emergency services, if needed. The CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is funded, in part, by a grant from the California Energy Commission. The FCRTA funding was provided, in part, by Caltrans.
“This project is a great model of what can be done via partnerships and cooperation to develop truly sustainable transportation. The California Energy Commission, thru its support of the CALSTART center, is very pleased to be part of this project that makes cars powered by the sun a reality in rural Fresno County,” said Commissioner Janea Scott.
An electric vehicle powered by the California electricity grid, on average,on a total cycle basis, emits about one third of the greenhouse gas emissions as a comparable size gasoline car. When an electric vehicle is recharged by solar panels, the total emissions level is effectively zero.
The solar powered charging stations will provide no-cost charging for Valley EV drivers, helping to make electric cars more affordable for Fresno County residents. 12 of the 13 units are located in disadvantaged communities.
The solar powered charging stations are manufactured by Envision Solar, a California-based company with facilities in San Diego, CA.
“This is an important project that demonstrates that running cars powered by the sun is not a dream but an actual reality. CALSTART is very appreciative of the funding support provided by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, the California Energy Commission, Caltrans, and the Fresno County Rural Transportation Agency,” said CALSTART President and CEO, John Boesel.
“We view this as an important step in building the electric vehicle market in the San Joaquin Valley,” said CALSTART’s San Joaquin Valley Regional Director, Joseph Oldham. “We are very interested in replicating this project in the other counties in the valley,”said Oldham.