New York City, December 15, 2009 — Beautiful Earth Group, a New York-based sustainable energy company, built a solar-powered electric vehicle charging station in New York City.
The charging station sits on an industrial lot near the company’s headquarters in Red Hook, Brooklyn, overlooking New York Harbor and downtown Manhattan.
Designed and built by BE, the station is off-grid, modular, constructed with recycled, decommissioned steel shipping containers and entirely powered by Sharp 235-watt photovoltaic panels.
The project is part of BE’s effort to showcase urban renewable energy solutions in New York City.
The charging station is currently used to charge BE’s 100 percent electric MINI E, making it one of the few cars in the world to run exclusively on solar power. BMW Group’s MINI E has a range of more than 100 miles and takes around three hours to charge.
“It never ceases to amaze me, when I get behind the wheel of this 95 mph sports car, that it doesn’t use a single drop of gasoline, and that all of its power comes from the solar energy we collect right here on the Brooklyn waterfront,” said BE president and CEO Lex Heslin.
With a capacity of about six kilowatts, BE’s charging station also produces enough energy to power a small home, and its battery bank stores electricity 24/7 for on-demand usage.
Many of the major car manufacturers are planning to launch electric or plug-in hybrid cars starting next year. The BE charging station is a tangible example of how to dramatically reduce carbon emissions.
Many large U.S. cities fall short of meeting federal air quality standards and transportation contributes to more than half of their local air pollution. BE supports the use of EVs as a crucial step towards long-term sustainability in transportation, and as an innovative solution that will contribute to New York’s GreeNYC initiative, which targets reducing carbon emissions 30 percent by 2030.