Could garages be on the way out, particularly as the demand for solar-charging stations grows? The Catholic University of America noticed this need and, at one of the school’s parking lots, recently unveiled a carport. The structure, on the surface, offers all the assets of a standard carport but with one additional feature: electric charging stations.
This particular carport was renovated to accommodate a variety of modern and larger vehicles. On a greater scale, its protective properties mirror those of standard portable shelters for the home: mainly, to keep the elements away from all cars and vehicles underneath.
The school, an article in the university’s newspaper points out, decided on a carport over a garage. Why? Convenience, primarily, for staff members and students, but also the ability to modify the shelter with charging stations.
Presently, the article points out, most students are unaware of the new charging stations. As a result, these features, specifically for green vehicles, are not being used frequently.
As we just indicated, sales of green vehicles – electric and hybrid cars – are growing, seeing a particularly significant surge in 2012. However, it appears that sales correspond with gas prices: when gas prices increase, buyers consider electric or hybrid vehicles, which need little or no gas to operate. Nevertheless, keeping a charge has turned into an issue for owners of electric vehicles, and public charge stations, or carports, are a solution.
Over the past few years, solar carports, near transit centers, at homes, and near buildings, have proliferated. Not all are identical, however. Some simply use the frame of a carport to support photovoltaic , or solar, panels, which then displace part of an adjacent building’s electricity. The result, over time, is lower electric bills for the nearby facility. Beyond this basic model, the solar charge from the panels is used to power an electric or hybrid vehicle.
- Study: Almost 5 million charging stations by 2015 (reviews.cnet.com)
- Guide to help Hawaii businesses with EV charging station installations (bizjournals.com)
- San Diego to Add 117 Electric Vehicle Charging Stations (sandiego6.com)