Fresno County Welcomes 13 New Solar-Powered EV Chargers

CALSTART, which is dedicated to growing clean transportation technology, in partnership with the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA) and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), has unveiled a model program providing solar-powered electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in 13 rural incorporated cities in Fresno County, Calif.

As reported, the FCRTA selected the CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center to help it develop and implement the concept.

Both the SJVAPCD and FCRTA provided funding for the actual purchase and deployment of the Envision Solar charging stations that include backup energy storage for emergency services, if needed. The CALSTART San Joaquin Valley Clean Transportation Center is funded, in part, by a grant from the California Energy Commission.

The FCRTA funding was provided, in part, by Caltrans.

“This project is a great model of what can be done via partnerships and cooperation to develop truly sustainable transportation. The California Energy Commission, through its support of the CALSTART center, is very pleased to be part of this project that makes cars powered by the sun a reality in rural Fresno County,” says Commissioner Janea Scott.

An EV powered by the California electricity grid, on average, on a total cycle basis, emits about one-third of the greenhouse-gas emissions as a comparable-size gasoline car. When an EV is recharged by solar panels, the total emissions level is effectively zero.

The solar-powered charging stations will provide no-cost charging for valley EV drivers, helping to make electric cars more affordable for Fresno County residents. CALSTART says that 12 of the 13 units are located in disadvantaged communities.

“This is an important project that demonstrates that running cars powered by the sun is not a dream, but an actual reality. CALSTART is very appreciative of the funding support provided by the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District, the California Energy Commission, Caltrans and the Fresno County Rural Transportation Agency,” says CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel.

“We view this as an important step in building the electric vehicle market in the San Joaquin Valley,” comments CALSTART’s San Joaquin Valley Regional Director Joseph Oldham. “We are very interested in replicating this project in the other counties in the valley.”

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