EV charging company Envision Solar International, Inc. is to supply solar-powered chargers for electric buses operated by Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA) in California.
FCRTA has ordered the first two of a series of solar-powered DC fast charging Solar Tree DCFC products from Envision Solar and will deploy them as part of their ongoing efforts to reduce harmful emissions in Fresno County. This will be the first deployment of off-grid solar-powered electric bus fast charging and the first to offer a source of energy for charging during a grid interruption. The Solar Tree chargers will charge FCRTA’s electric buses even during black-outs or other grid interruptions, a vital transportation and energy security measure. The Solar Tree can also be used by first responders for emergency power during disasters.
The acquisition of the chargers has been assisted by a grant from the Fresno County Transportation Authority (New Technology Fund). The Solar Tree units will provide in-route DC fast charging for two BYD 35’ electric buses operating between Orange Cove and Coalinga as they operate on their 90 and 130-mile loops on express routes into Fresno.
“We have already created a clean and free fuelling option for our constituency through the deployment of solar-powered EV ARC chargers across the county” said Moses Stites, FCRTA General Manager. “We will now continue to lead in providing zero-emissions transportation by integrating an electric bus fleet into our public transportation system. These buses will run on sunshine and we will be able to ensure a reliable service even during black-outs due to our choice of grid-independent, clean charging solutions.”
Desmond Wheatley CEO of Envision Solar, added that the company has been providing rapidly deployable, scalable, solar-powered EV charging for many years and that in 2018 the company will introduce its DC fast charging product line-up. FCRTA will be the first Envision Solar customer to deploy the Solar Tree DCFC products for electric buses.
According to analysts at the Freedonia Group, Electric and Hybrid buses will hit 22 percent of unit demand by 2021. In a recent article, the Energy Gang cited experts suggesting that 100 percent of new bus purchases will be electric by 2030.
The Solar Tree DCFC is a rapidly-deployable, grid-independent DC fast charging solution that covers eight parking spaces and does not reduce available parking in any way. The energy is stored in the Solar Tree’s energy storage facility for charging day or night and during grid failures. The Solar Tree product is delivered as a fully engineered kit of parts and requires minimal installation work.