Envision Solar International, Inc., (Nasdaq: EVSI, EVSIW) (“Envision Solar,” or the “Company”), the leading producer of unique and sustainable infrastructure products for electric vehicle charging, energy security and outdoor media, announced that the San Luis Obispo (SLO) County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) have partnered to provide Envision’s solar-powered EV ARC™ DC fast charging system at the Caltrans Safety Roadside Rest Area (SRRA) in Shandon California, on California Highway 46, East of San Luis Obispo. The chargers are one of only three solar-powered DC fast chargers in the U.S. and can be deployed without construction and operate without a utility grid connection.
The State of California has set a goal of having at least 1.5 million EVs in use in the State by 2025. The Governor’s Executive Order B-48-18 directs State entities to work with the private sector and all appropriate levels of government to spur the construction and installation of 250,000 zero-emission vehicle chargers, including 10,000 direct current (DC) fast chargers, by 2025. The Governor has tasked State government with accelerating the use of EVs by increasing convenient access to charging stations. More stations are needed everywhere, but especially in rural areas, to facilitate long-distance travel by EV and to reduce EV driver anxiety about charging station gaps.
“These locations now provide EV drivers access to renewably powered DC fast charging stations,” said Caltrans District Sustainability Manager Aileen Loe. “With over 650,000 zero-emission vehicles on the road in California, the installation of these stations at strategic locations on the state highway system will allow the public to travel with greater ease, convenience and zero tail-pipe emissions.”
The Shandon facility is among the first solar-powered DC fast charging EV chargers in the United States. Funding for the Shandon facility is part of a broader initiative by SLO County APCD to implement their EV charging infrastructure program. The Monterey Bay Air Resources District (MBARD) also embraced this new technology and contributed funds to a similar deployment at the Caltrans Camp Roberts Safety Roadside Rest Areas on US Highway 101 45 minutes north of San Luis Obispo in rural Monterey County.
“Rest Areas offer an ideal spot to pick up a charge while making a longer trip, but extending sufficient electrical capacity from the utility grid can be very expensive, time consuming and environmentally impactful,” said Desmond Wheatley, CEO of Envision Solar. “The EV ARC DC fast charging infrastructure product uniquely solves that problem because its primary source of energy is the sun. There was no need to increase the electrical capacity at this remote location in order to serve up fast charging, saving money and time. We view our ability to rapidly deploy DC fast charging in any location without the need for costly construction and electrical upgrades as a major opportunity and differentiator for our continued growth.”