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Solar Carport Gives Plug-Ins a Charge

Postby curzlgt » Tue Mar 31, 2009 5:12 pm

Story :

One of the great criticisms of electric vehicles is the power they rely on often comes from fossil fuels, leading critics to question how "green" they are. A British firm has a solution for that — a carport topped with photovoltaic cells that can charge an EV.

Specialty glass and plastic manufacturer Romag says the PowerPark is just the thing for parking lots where electric vehicles may one day compete for spots to plug in. The first PowerPark was installed at the company's headquarters, and Romag says additional installations are planned around the United Kingdom.

"Interest has been received from supermarket chains, schools, airports, train stations, hospitals [and] commercial office buildings in the U.K., Middle East and Far East," Kevin Webster, the company's technical director, told "The U.S. would be an excellent market for the canopy."

About 70 percent of the electricity generated in the United States comes from fossil fuels, according to the Energy Information Agency. Still, the Electric Power Research Institute says shows plug-ins and EVs could cut greenhouse gas emissions by more than 450 million metric tons annually by 2050. That's the equivalent of eliminating 82.5 million gasoline vehicles — about a third of the number currently on the road in America. That figure will only climb as renewable sources become more common, EPRI says.

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