Paso Robles News|Friday, October 18, 2019
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Solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations now available at Camp Roberts rest areas 

–Two solar-powered direct current fast-charging (DCFC) electric vehicle (EV) charging stations have been installed at the Camp Roberts Rest Areas along US 101 in Monterey County. They are the first solar-powered EV charging stations being operated in the United States.

“We’re thrilled to have these solar-powered EV charging stations up and running in rest areas. It’s an important part of our overall plan to provide sustainable transportation options for travelers,” said Caltrans District 5 Director Tim Gubbins.

These EV ARC 2020 stations include four solar panels that pivot to track the sun, storing the captured energy in a series of batteries. This system will power one Charge Point Express250 charging station at each rest area. These charging stations offer CCS1 and CHAdeMO cables. Tesla drivers can also use the station if they carry an adapter. Other motorists can assess the availability of the ChargePoint Station through an application on their smartphone.

These stations will be free to the public and were funded by the Monterey Bay Air Resources Board (MBARD) at a cost of $1.2 million, which includes long-term system maintenance.

charging station highway 101

Two solar-powered direct current fast-charging (DCFC) electric vehicle (EV) charging stations have been installed at the Camp Roberts Rest Areas along US 101 in Monterey County. They are the first solar-powered EV charging stations being operated in the United States.

“MBARD is pleased to partner with Caltrans District 5 on this unique electric vehicle infrastructure project which makes DC charging available at the Camp Roberts rest areas,” said Richard A. Stedman, MBARD Air Pollution Control Officer. “This strategic location on Highway 101 fills a gap in the network of charging stations along this important transportation corridor. By funding the installation of fast charging stations, MBARD promotes the adoption of fully electric vehicles, leading to significant long-term air quality benefits.”

Emergency responders will also be able to use these facilities as an emergency generator during a power outage in the event of an earthquake or wildfire.

The installation of this technology was performed by Envision Solar International, the developer and manufacturer of this system. “Envision Solar is delighted to have the opportunity to put our environmentally sustainable, off the grid EV charging solution on California’s highway,” said Desmond Wheatley, CEO of Envision Solar International. These stations are designed to fill a gap in the electric highway network to relieve driver anxiety while encouraging longer travel trips by electric vehicles.

A third solar-powered EV charging station will be installed at the Shandon Rest Area in early 2020.

For more information on this project and for traffic updates on other Caltrans projects in Monterey County, residents can call the District 5 toll
free number at 1-831-372-0862 or can visit our website at: https://dot.ca.gov/caltrans-near-me/district-5.

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About the author: News Staff

News staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote and edited this story from local contributors and press releases. Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Connect with him on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, or follow his blog. He can be reached at scott@pasoroblesdailynews.com.