SunPods is providing commercial customers with an easy and simple way to charge their EV fleets with solar.
The SunPod Plug-N-Go is the company’s modular solar charging structure used to power EVs.
The basic SunPod unit is 2.46 kW. Customers can build as big a system as they want by ordering a group of SunPod modules.
Prices for SunPods depend on the size of the array. The company is delivering SunPods on the West Coast for around $4 per watt. SunPods are also available for utility, state and federal tax incentives as well.
The reasoning behind offering the Plug-N-Go SunPod was to give customers a clean energy option to charge EV fleets, said SunPods executive vice president and co-founder Michael Gumm
“As electric cars start coming online, you need a place to power them up,” said Gumm.
“For us, it didn’t make sense just using basic utility power which could be powered by coal,” he added.
The Plug-N-Go renewable EV infrastructure is especially useful for commercial EV users who have the space for a SunPod system on their property, said Gumm.
Since the SunPod Plug-N-Go is a grid-tied product, an EV plugged into it can pull electricity from the grid after the battery has been depleted. Surplus energy, generated after the battery is full, can be sent back into the grid and net-metered.
The company may decide in the future to make an entirely off-grip system, but is waiting for cheaper battery technology to become available before moving towards this, said Gumm.
The San Jose, Calif. company was founded in December 2008.
It is growing quickly, and will soon upgrade to a larger manufacturing facility in San Jose, thanks to a second round of funding. The company expects to expand into a second Southern California facility in a few months, said Gumm.
It also has plans to sell on the East Coast soon, and has an agreement in place with a company to manufacture and distribute SunPods in the Pacific Rim.
SunPods is already partnering with car manufacturers and EV charging station manufacturers, said Gumm.
The end of 2010 should be busy with EV rollouts, and solar-charged driving will come faster than most people think, he said.
The company is currently developing a solar shade canopy for customers who want to park their EV in the shade and charge it.
SunPods are designed for convenience and quick setup. They are delivered to a customer’s site ready to power up immediately, with no on-site assembly required. The SunPod only needs an electrician to complete the electrical hookup to the grid to start operating.
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