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 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.
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.