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Tesla Roadster Charging at SolarCity Station  (Source: Autoblog)
Solar chargers installed along Hwy 101 between LA and San Francisco

If there is a hotbed for electric cars in America, it has to be California. The sunny state has some of the worst air pollution in the country. The area is also home to some of the nation's prominent electric carmakers like Tesla.

SolarCity has announced that it has installed charging stations that will charge the Tesla Roadster to full capacity in 3.5 hours along highway 101 between San Francisco and Los Angeles. One of the stations that has been installed is powered from solar energy.

"This charging station corridor demonstrates an important component of SolarCity's vision for a carbon-free lifestyle. We're combining clean, renewable solar power with all-electric transportation, allowing drivers to travel through California with zero emissions," said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive.

Four chargers are arrayed along the stretch of highway and are located in Salinas, Atascadero, Santa Maria, and San Luis Obispo. By the middle of October a fifth power station will come online in Goleta. The Santa Maria station gets the juice it needs from a 30kW solar array.

All of the charging stations produce 240V at 70 amps and only fit the Tesla Roadster at this time. SolarCity plans to refit the charge stations in the near future to work with all electric vehicles. The SolarCity owned charge stations are all located at Rabobank locations with the San Luis Obispo location being owned by the city and located in a parking garage.

"We hope that this corridor of charging stations provides new travel opportunities for electric vehicle owners and gives further momentum to the renewable energy movement," said Marco Krapels, co-chair of Rabobank's Corporate Social Responsibility committee.

Tesla recently shipped its 700th Roadster and is one of the best known names in electric vehicles.



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3.5 hours, huh?
By Motoman on 9/23/2009 11:25:07 AM , Rating: 3
...so, I guess that might be OK if you're going to work for the day...

So what, you go to this parking lot on your way to work...and if you don't happen to work right next door, you get on a bus to actually get to your office?

I don't get how this is supposed to be attractive.




RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By IcePickFreak on 9/23/2009 11:42:11 AM , Rating: 5
People who "work" don't drive a Tesla. This is for the celebs to use. If these are next to or at high end restaurants it'll make for a perfect 6 hour lunch ride mid-Wednesday for your favorite 'going green' celeb.

I guess they need to offset the 20 plasma TVs and heated Olympic sized swimming pool at home.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By kattanna on 9/23/2009 12:16:02 PM , Rating: 5
you mean like this lovely lady

http://theresilientearth.com/?q=content/crank-week...

quote:
Ms. Bündchen has been named an official UN Environmental Ambassador by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), one of the parent organizations of the infamous IPCC. Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director said: “Gisele is among a handful of talented individuals and personalities that have a truly global reach . She is also a committed and passionate environmentalist. UNEP is delighted to welcome her on board as a Goodwill Ambassador so that with her help, we can make environmental action a global brand and a life-style choice, from New York to Nairobi and from Sao Paolo to Shanghai.”


the bold'ing is mine.. because she truly does have a global reach with her new gulfstream jet

quote:
Gisele Bundchen has bought herself a sweet new ride, and we're not talking about a sports car. Word is Tom Brady's globe-trotting girlfriend has joined the ranks of the rich and famous who have their own jet. We're told the supermodel, who spends a ton of time each year traveling to photo shoots around the world, has purchased a Gulfstream G550 for $50 million. The super-fast jet, which can carry up to 19 people, will enable Bundchen to bop from the US to Sao Paulo to Paris without worrying about connections or waiting in lines.


so.. remember, its OK for the new IPCC "green" spokesperson to own a new private jet.. but its not ok for you or me to do the same.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By theapparition on 9/23/2009 12:29:29 PM , Rating: 5
Of course its a double standard. Isn't it always.

We're reminded by Al Gore about the dangers of wasted electricity, yet he rakes up thousands of dollars of utility bills per month to power his mansions.

Hypocrites, all of them. BTW, did anyone see the study where the worlds 10 largest cargo ships produce more emissions than the worlds cars/trucks combined by something like 3:1.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By Spuke on 9/23/2009 12:31:29 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
BTW, did anyone see the study where the worlds 10 largest cargo ships produce more emissions than the worlds cars/trucks combined by something like 3:1.
No I didn't but I'm guessing there's no "outrage" over that. Do you have a link to that info?


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By Spuke on 9/23/2009 4:28:39 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks much!!


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By Spuke on 9/23/2009 4:31:57 PM , Rating: 2
Just read it am I flabbergasted!! Why is there no outrage over this? "Everyone" bashes SUV's but these things make them irrelevant.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By kontorotsui on 9/24/2009 2:18:01 AM , Rating: 2
Those cargo ships should be made with nuclear propulsion.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By MrPoletski on 9/24/2009 9:49:22 AM , Rating: 2
That's a very good idea, if only we could keep the nuclear reactors and materials from falling into the wrong hands.

What would some somalian priates do with a bunch of spare fuel rods?

I don't know... but I don't want to find out either..

At least it would force into effect my idea for prevention of shipping piracy.... multiple 50cal mounted machine guns all over the decks of the cargo ships.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By Crassus on 9/23/2009 2:06:04 PM , Rating: 2
Only that the article doesn't talk about CO2 at all. This concerns sulfur etc., which apparently is resulting from the cheap fuel used for the ships' diesel engines.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By JediJeb on 9/23/2009 2:21:57 PM , Rating: 4
To be honest though the Sulpher and NOx emissions are a much bigger problem than CO2 will ever be.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By randomposter on 9/23/2009 2:22:58 PM , Rating: 2
It's rather misleading for you to use the phrase "more emissions than the worlds cars/trucks combined" when the study appears to measure one single pollutant: SOx


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By theapparition on 9/23/2009 3:25:50 PM , Rating: 2
The other poster linked to another story from the one I was talking about. I have no doubt they were related, or based on the same data, but in the article I read (a while ago), It clearly listed the overall emissions as signifigantly more, not just SOx. It also compared the top 10 ships, not top 15.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By puckalicious on 9/23/2009 1:17:09 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
so.. remember, its OK for the new IPCC "green" spokesperson to own a new private jet.. but its not ok for you or me to do the same


Sure it is, we just can't afford it. The real double standard about private jets is that it is ok for bankers to have them, just not ok for car companies to have them.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By Samus on 9/23/2009 6:16:48 PM , Rating: 2
These stations are mostly for people to use during a weekend (or weekday) drive to San Francisco from LA or SD and vice-versa. You can't make the drive without recharging because its almost 400 miles between SF and LA and 500 miles between SF and SD. The Tesla only has a range of apx. 250 miles/charge.

This is a great idea, and I see everybody with a Tesla using them at some point. I'm sure the charging rates are heavily weighed in the citys' favor as well.

They also forgot to mention the Tesla, like most lithium powered products, charges up to 85% capacity in about 2/3 the total charging time. So you could have 85% power in just over 2 hours, plenty to make the full trip between SF and LA.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By Solandri on 9/24/2009 3:40:52 AM , Rating: 3
Does that really make sense? This isn't I-5, which is a relatively straight shot between SF and LA. It's the 101, which in sections is twisty and narrow. Google Maps says it's 438 miles and 7.5 hours.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=l...

Assuming you only need one recharge along the way, with a 2 hour pit stop, your trip is now 9.5 hours. For a weekend trip, you wake up at 8am, shower, dress, load everything into the car, and get going by 9am. And you'd arrive at 6:30pm, in time for dinner and maybe a movie. Check into a hotel for the night. Then next morning you'd have time for breakfast, then have to drive right back in order to make it back in time for work on Monday.

This really sounds more like a gimmick for rich people who don't have 9-5 day jobs 5 days a week.

quote:
The Santa Maria station gets the juice it needs from a 30kW solar array.

All of the charging stations produce 240V at 70 amps and only fit the Tesla Roadster at this time.

240V @ 70 amps is 16.8 kW. Even more if it's 240V AC and you need a transformer in between to convert the solar array's DC into AC. The array is basically enough to recharge 1, maybe 2 cars at a single time (assuming full sunshine). 30 kW with 150 Watt panels also means 200 square meters of panels, or about the size of a tennis court. That's a lot of panels to recharge just 1.8 cars. Granted, for now there's unlikely to be more than one Tesla there at a time. But assuming it catches on, this doesn't scale very well.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By AnnihilatorX on 9/23/2009 11:57:40 AM , Rating: 2
Time for the world to invent automatic self-driven cars to pick you up.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By Motoman on 9/23/2009 12:26:26 PM , Rating: 2
Hmmm...not sure about that. Maybe if they ran on baby seal oil...


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By FITCamaro on 9/23/2009 1:39:41 PM , Rating: 4
I want them to run on tears of sorrow and despair.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By Motoman on 9/23/2009 1:47:07 PM , Rating: 2
...kinda the way a Barbie factory somewhere in Asia would run on the tears of sorrow and despair?


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By Motoman on 9/23/2009 12:28:56 PM , Rating: 2
...also, it occurs to me that it would make more sense for e-car makers to put the plug-in at the car's nose. Any place that's going to have a charging facility is going to be a parking lot, by name or by function...and any such outlet is pretty much going to be at the front of the parking space. So why put the charging port someplace reminiscent of the gas cap, when you're just going to have to run a fat cable along the side of the car to trip on and drive over?


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By squezy on 9/23/2009 1:11:14 PM , Rating: 3
What about just driving back into the parking spot?


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By Motoman on 9/23/2009 1:14:14 PM , Rating: 2
...I'm not all that excited about the average driver's ability to back into a parking space.

...and granted the price tag on these things, the owners are probably accustomed to having someone else drive them anyway.


RE: 3.5 hours, huh?
By kontorotsui on 9/24/2009 2:21:05 AM , Rating: 2
No way.
Electric cars should be able to be charged by induction, by parking above a platform.
A cable is... so uncivilized.


no
By walk2k on 9/23/2009 2:19:02 PM , Rating: 2
Somehow I don't think people driving between SF and LA frequently will want to do it in a Tesla.

~380 miles in a car with a 200 mile range and takes 3.5 hours to refuel? Yeah, no.

Keep in mind also that Top Gear got less than 55 miles on their track. Obviously driving it hard on a track, but still points out how quite optimistic their ~200 mile range is. If you only get say 180 miles you'll have to stop to recharge TWICE on the SF-LA trip..

That's 7 HOURS parked, the entire trip is only 5-6 hours!




RE: no
By Steve1981 on 9/23/2009 2:29:34 PM , Rating: 2
Indeed. The technology behind the Volt sounds like a much better compromise if they can get the price right.

Of course, like a few others here, I dream of large scale bio-diesel production.


RE: no
By JediJeb on 9/23/2009 2:34:20 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly, until charging times are down to 10-20 minutes at most these will remain a novelty. Stopping twice for a 20 minute break in a 6 hour drive would not be bad.

It is difficult to consider buying and EV now since you need a backup for driving any long distance. For me it is over 100 miles to the nearest airport so even driving an EV and flying for long trips doesn't work.


RE: no
By walk2k on 9/23/2009 3:53:07 PM , Rating: 2
It will be a long long time, maybe never, before they can get charging times down that low.

A more likely scenario would be swapping your battery unit for a fully charged one at the filling station, but even that is impractical with today's hybrid batteries. The battery unit in the Tesla weighs 900 lbs!


RE: no
By CZroe on 9/24/2009 5:05:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's practical for industrial forklifts and pallet trucks/runners. As I observed at Petsmart FDC20 (now DC20), they'd change the 1-ton batteries in under a minute using a giant battery-changing machine which unloads one and loads in another. If, say, a portion of the batteries were built into the car and a large portion was a standardized removable unit it could have the benefits of increased range AND quick fill-ups.

Combined with instant-charging super-capacitors and/or hydrogen fillups, an EV could have all the benefits of a plug-in and still realistically cross the country with the proper infrastructure (no hour+ rest stops).

For example, there could be a removable unit or two in a standard location accessible from, say, under the hood or under the chassis (might have to drive up onto the battery changing machine). To avoid design constraints, there may be additional batteries integrated elsewhere in the vehicle's body for increased range when a plug-in source is accessible. When super-capacitors become realistic as an alternative, these can fill that same area and they can easily be charged during the battery swap just as a hydrogen cell or a battery could be refilled or swapped.


RE: no
By IcePickFreak on 9/23/2009 2:40:55 PM , Rating: 5
The 3.5 hour charging time gives you time to plant trees.


RE: no
By Steve1981 on 9/23/2009 2:53:00 PM , Rating: 2
No No No!!!

Haven't you heard? Trees are bad for global warming too. We need to chop them all down as quickly as possible.

http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2005...


RE: no
By Steve1981 on 9/23/2009 2:59:18 PM , Rating: 2
And this too

http://www.carbon-info.org/carbonnews_028.htm

Little do we know...the silent killer that is the tree.


RE: no
By kattanna on 9/23/2009 3:23:51 PM , Rating: 2
i honestly cant convey how humorous i find that.


RE: no
By Spuke on 9/23/2009 4:36:04 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
http://www.wired.com/science/discoveries/news/2005...
I guess Sheryl Crow can start using toilet paper again.


RE: no
By IcePickFreak on 9/23/2009 5:30:25 PM , Rating: 2
I always suspected the Boy Scouts (AKA The Illuminati) were up to no good. It's pretty apparent when you see them all piled into inefficient ICE vans & buses instead of Prius caravans. All this so they can go plant trees!


RE: no
By jimbojimbo on 9/23/2009 2:57:41 PM , Rating: 2
That's 200 miles with no radio, no a/c or heat, no headlights, no turnsignals, and consistent speed at their optimal speed with only one instance of acceleration at the beginning. I wouldn't be surprised if they ran their tests in a lab with rollers under the wheels.


How much for a charge?
By bug77 on 9/23/2009 11:30:23 AM , Rating: 2
Cause I don't think the stations are free-for-all.




RE: How much for a charge?
By Spuke on 9/23/2009 11:45:20 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Cause I don't think the stations are free-for-all.
According to a NY Times blog, charging is free.

http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/tag/solarcity/


RE: How much for a charge?
By Spuke on 9/23/2009 11:50:57 AM , Rating: 2
More info.

Looks like these charging stations are located in Rabobank branch parking lots. And Rabobank is covering the cost of the charges ($4 to fully charge a Tesla Roadster which is the ONLY car that can use these stations currently).

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2...


RE: How much for a charge?
By mdbusa on 9/23/2009 10:01:33 PM , Rating: 2
good so the owners can go and count their money while they wait for recharging.

I think this is a decent start and a necessary step in the evolution of the EV car industry. We have to start somewhere.

I trhibnk these charging stations need to be located within short walking distances of shopping centers or restaurants so that people can do something while waiting for a recharge


RE: How much for a charge?
By Spuke on 9/24/2009 1:20:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I trhibnk these charging stations need to be located within short walking distances of shopping centers or restaurants so that people can do something while waiting for a recharge
Check out the link. Supposedly they are located near restaurants, etc.


carbon-free lifestyle ?
By kattanna on 9/23/2009 11:31:48 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
carbon-free lifestyle


its impossible to have a carbon-free lifestyle. carbon neutral maybe, but not carbon free.

anyways carbon isnt the devil some people make it out to be.

ignorance is.




RE: carbon-free lifestyle ?
By AnnihilatorX on 9/23/2009 11:56:49 AM , Rating: 2
According to some calculators online I have done, doing a single transcontinental flight will already have made carbon contribution over that of the world average, given very conservative other usage figures from normal lifestyle.


RE: carbon-free lifestyle ?
By theapparition on 9/23/2009 12:24:19 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
This charging station corridor demonstrates an important component of SolarCity's vision for a carbon-free lifestyle.

Maybe they can do us all a favor and stop breathing.

And what is up with DT removing articles? Several articles have gone MIA in the last few weeks. Some censoring going on?


RE: carbon-free lifestyle ?
By MadMan007 on 9/23/2009 7:30:49 PM , Rating: 3
My silicon-based lifeform friends disagree.


Theme : Addressing Range Anxieties.
By hsr0601 on 9/23/2009 12:13:45 PM , Rating: 1

1. As for long trip needs, all but Americans and many of developed nations have existing automobiles, in this regard, EVs are best suited to their daily use until the infrastructure comes into wide use. And people are already doing that.

2. With a long extension code inside, just in case, riders can get help from almost anyplace as electricity is everywhere, not to mention the stores to provide charge service, and many of EVs are equipped with a quick charger.

3. The on-board IT system shows the driving radius on a maximum range display under the current state of charge and calculates if the vehicle is within range of a pre-set destination. And the navigation system points out the latest information on available charging stations within the current driving range.

4. Unlike fuel price, as time goes by, the price of battery is expected to drop dramatically in the foreseeable future as with computer components, in that case, mounting additional battery might be not a problem. And the EVs that come in a range of 200 to 300 miles between charges are on fast-tract toward mass-market, as well.

5. Indian EV maker Reva said it has also set about addressing anxieties about e-car range, this fantastic wireless electricity/ "instant remote recharge" will be widely available down the line.

6. The vehicle-to-grid communication technology is helping the battery serve as a storage to prevent the costly blackout standing at about $90 to 100bn per year. That means utilities are shedding cost for additional storage facilities and ratepayers are selling electricity during peak demand so that EVs can make more economic sense, as we know.

It is also in the best interest of electricity utilities that EVs are going mainstream, thereby they need to put in charge stands where needed around highways, major roads with card readers or cell phone tech.

7. I'm hopeful that the charge network will extend the select districts to nation-wide scale throughout the world, and this environment can usher in active private investings in EVs. And I remain confident that investing in charge stands could give rise to multiple times as much investing effect, so to speak, some billions of investing, this simple deployment, could call into the most-sought energy independence and solid recovery around the world.

Thank You !





RE: Theme : Addressing Range Anxieties.
By Spuke on 9/23/2009 12:20:20 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
And the EVs that come in a range of 200 to 300 miles between charges are on fast-tract toward mass-market, as well.
What battery technology will allow this range?

quote:
The vehicle-to-grid communication technology is helping the battery serve as a storage to prevent the costly blackout standing at about $90 to 100bn per year.
Which utilities are either experimenting with or using this technology? Also, explain how this technology can allow for recharging the cars battery AND powering the grid.


By 67STANG on 9/23/2009 1:00:36 PM , Rating: 3
I've got an idea.

Let's replace the Tesla's tires with big, fluffy socks and add another lane to our highways that is carpeted. Infrastructure problem solved.


3.5 Hour, Hummm
By btc909 on 9/23/2009 11:43:14 AM , Rating: 2
So since this is a parking garage can I leave a gas powered car to get to work/home while the Tesla is charging?




Maybe not in a highway...
By Marlonsm on 9/23/2009 1:27:41 PM , Rating: 2
...but something like that at home to power an electric car is, sure, a nice idea. But, first, it needs to get cheaper.




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