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Solar Powered Electric Car Charging Station Tested At Piraeus University

The Piraeus University of Applied Sciences has recently launched the first solar powered electric car charging station in Greece; this innovation guarantees 100% green energy. The charging point only uses solar power which gets turned into electricity which in turn charges EV batteries. It is the first step on the road to becoming independent from the main electricity grid. Though it is a promising innovation, it is still only in its test phase where it is being used for training and research.

Truly Clean Energy

Professor Ioannis Kaldelis is part of the department responsible for the plan and he said the goal is to create a charging station that uses only renewable energy sources. The end result is that electric cars finally run on “truly green energy.” Kaldelis pointed out that at present, Greece’s electricity is created mainly from imported natural gas and lignite.
He stated that creating the station was easy as it involved the use of 3 KW photovoltaic panels which generate enough power to charge an EV in winter and two electric cars in summer when there is more sun. At the station, motorists can fill their batteries or charge their car directly at the charging point.

piraeus university electric car charging station

Piraeus University 100% solar electric car charging station. Image source: Google

Giorgos Spyropoulos came up with the idea for the station which is located outside the Elaionas Campus and it was built by him and a team of students, both undergraduate and postgraduate. It is funded by a number of private companies and the University.

According to Kaldelis, a charging station such as this one can be created in 14 days when red tape is set aside and he admitted that the idea came about because of the rise in prominence of electric cars. He also said that it was the perfect transport solution on small Greek islands as a fully charged vehicle can travel 100-150km on a single charge. This is more than enough for tourists to travel around on a daily basis.

Costs

Kaldelis also said that these charging points could be mass produced for around €20,000 each. The trouble is, electric cars are hardly used in Greece; there are only 60 on the roads at present. Part of the reason is cost; the cheapest models are €20,000 while many EVs can cost as much as €60,000, far beyond the price of gas models.

Yet the Greek public need to be persuaded and long-term savings can be a way of doing so. It can cost as little as €1 for every 100km of use because charging is so cheap. While it can take 7-8 hours to fully charge a vehicle, there are systems available that halve the waiting time; the problem is, they cost €3,000.

3D Printed Strati Electric Car

In September 2014, Jay Rogers surprised the world when he drove his new electric car to the International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago. The two-seater EV was created using a 3D Printer which Rogers says developed the vehicle in just 44 hours! The Strati is the world’s first 3D printer car. While the entire process took four and a half months, Rogers believes future models could be created in 6 weeks with the actual printing time cut to 24 hours.

Strati Electric Car – A Simple Success

Simplicity is the key to the Strati’s success; while the average car has thousands of parts, the Strati has just 49. Rogers, the CEO of Local Motors, believes that if a car can be made from the same material, it will be relatively easy to reduce the number of necessary parts. The majority of a car, including seats and the chassis, can be made using a 3D printer though it cannot create suspension, tyres and the engine.

strati electric car

Strati Electric Car. Image: Google UK

The material used to make the Strati is carbon-fibre reinforced thermoplastic which is as strong as mid-level aluminium according to Rogers. At present, the Local Motors team are refining the process to make it possible to print different flexibilities and other innovations in varying parts of the car. This would allow them to create compression bars for improved safety or softer plastic for the seats.

Rogers claims the new vehicle will be on the road by the end of 2015 and while he initially said it would cost between $17,000 (£11,500) and $31,000 (£20,000), he says the price will fall. He hopes to see localised factories creating cars designed with their environment in mind. For instance, a factory in a cold region could develop Stratis to suit the icy climate while a Nevada factory could create cars to cope with the desert. Rogers also hopes this principle can be applied to all industries which would help reduce the amount of overseas manufacturing companies in the United States.

Electric Police Cars From Around The World

We’ve already reported that both Sussex and West Midlands Police Forces are adopting electric cars in the UK, but a quick search on Google Images and Google News and you’ll quickly find Police Forces from around the World have taken to electric police cars. Here’s a few we’ve chosen…

Germany

Mini electric police car

Mini electric police car. Image: Google UK

United Kingdom

Vehicle: Mitsubishi i-Miev

Mitsubishi i-Miev Electric Police Car

Mitsubishi i-Miev Electric Police Car. Image: Google UK

Portugal

Vehicle: Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf Electric Police Car

Nissan Leaf Electric Police Car. Image: Google UK

United States

Vehicle: Tesla Model S

Tesla Model S Electric Police Car

Tesla Model S Electric Police Car. Image: Google UK

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