Designed and built by BE, the station is off-grid, modular, constructed with recycled, decommissioned steel shipping containers and entirely powered by state-of-the-art Sharp 235 watt photovoltaic panels. The project is part of BE’s effort to showcase urban sustainable energy solutions in New York City.
The charging station is currently used to charge BE’s 100% electric MINI E, making it one of the few cars in the world to run exclusively on solar power. BMW Group’s MINI E has a range of just over 100 miles and takes around three hours to charge.
"It never ceases to amaze me, when I get behind the wheel of this 95 mph sports car, that it doesn’t use a single drop of gasoline, and that all of its power comes from the solar energy we collect right here on the Brooklyn waterfront," said BE president and CEO Lex Heslin.
"We’re thrilled that our electric car MINI E is part of BE’s groundbreaking effort to bring sustainability to motoring" said Richard Steinberg, Head of EV Operations and Strategy for BMW.
With a capacity of about six kilowatts, BE’s charging station also produces enough energy to power a small home, and its battery bank stores electricity 24/7 for on-demand usage. Many of the major car manufacturers are planning to launch electric or plug-in hybrid cars starting next year. The BE charging station is a tangible example of how to dramatically reduce carbon emissions.
"EV’s will significantly contribute to the reduction of atmospheric pollution, particularly if their ‘fuel’ is clean, green electricity," explained Heslin. "Real, system-wide change will come when we combine energy efficiency, energy conservation and a shift from carbon-emitting fuels to sustainable energy."
Many large US cities fall short of meeting federal air quality standards and transportation contributes to more than half of their local air pollution. BE supports the use of EVs as a crucial step towards long-term sustainability in transportation, and as an innovative solution that will contribute to New York’s GreeNYC initiative, which targets reducing carbon emissions 30% by 2030.
Beautiful Earth Group (BE), a sustainable energy company founded in 2008, develops, owns and operates utility-scale solar and wind power generating facilities. The company’s first projects are located in the southwestern United States. BE invests exclusively in non-carbon emitting electricity generation and seeks to promote long-term green solutions towards a goal of sustainability.