Read our latest article on Forbes.com where our CEO Desmond Wheatley talks with Ken Silverstein on the future of driving on nothing but sunshine.
On a sunny, 60 degree Friday afternoon in February, I strolled through the manufacturing facility of San Diego-based Envision Solar — a walk that transformed how I think about electric vehicles and especially how they are powered: the business makes solar-powered electric charging stations that are independent of the grid.
When EV owners juice up, they plug into an outlet at home or to a charging station that is wired to the grid — a power source that is dependent on how the local utility fuels its generators. But the origin of electrons produced by Envision Solar is coming solely from the sunshine, all collected by a solar array that rotates as the sun rises and sets. It then converts the sunlight into electricity before it is sent to an enclosure with computers and other electronics that either store the power in a battery or send it directly to the car.
“In our case, vehicles are driving on sunshine — no other source,” says Desmond Wheatley, chief executive of Envision Solar during our visit. “Our network is rapidly deployed because the businesses or government entities using it do not need to get any permits or incur any construction costs. It is scalable and can serve any fleet while the solar-powered vehicles create no emissions.”