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Trial begins for solar powered car charging

    Shanghai's first solar power charging station for electric vehicles has begun a trial operation in Songjiang District.

    Twelve charging poles supplied by over 40 rooftop solar energy panels have been installed at the station covering about 1,000 square meters on 150 Xinzhuan Highway, the city’s power supplier, the State Grid Shanghai Electric Power Company said.

    The solar energy charging poles, which can cater to all mainstream electric vehicle brands from both home and abroad, are expected to be widely promoted across the city and will help to boost the popularity of green energy cars, according to the company.

    Compared with traditional stations, the new charging station which claims to offer “pure green energy,” requires only solar panels, large-capacity batteries and charging poles.

    Liu Lian, an employee at the station, said the poles offer a fast charging service with direct current to nearly all vehicles sold after 2015. “It takes half an hour to charge 70 percent and about two hours to fill the battery for an electric vehicle,” Liu said.

    The two-story building was built near the charging station and 44 solar energy panels have been installed on the rooftop.

    The building is filled with lithium batteries to store electricity for evening services or overcast days.

    The capacity of the panels totals 11.66 kilowatts and can generate about 100 kilowatt hours of electricity a day, or the battery capacity for about three electric vehicles.

    The station has been connected to the city’s power grid in case demand exceeds its solar power capacity. It costs about 1.98 yuan (30 US cents) for one kilowatt hour of electricity, which is based on a 0.68 yuan basic electric fee plus a 1.3 yuan service charge, Liu said.