Electrify America is investing US$2m in solar-powered electric vehicle charging stations in rural California not tied to the electrical grid.

The investment will expand access to sustainable EV charging to drivers in rural areas, including the Central, Coachella and Imperial Valleys.

Electrify America is sourcing the chargers from Envision Solar, a San Diego-based sustainable technology company. The EV ARC 2020 is a transportable, solar-powered electric vehicle-charging infrastructure product.

Each stand-alone station is equipped with a 4.28-kilowatt (kW) sun-tracking solar array, 32kWh of on-board battery storage and two Electrify America Level 2 EV chargers capable of charging speeds up to 6kW. The combination allows for two customers to charge their vehicles at the same time using 100% renewable electricity, regardless of weather or time of day.

“Envision Solar’s innovative technology allows us to offer renewable energy solutions for electric vehicle charging,” said Electrify America president and CEO, Giovanni Palazzo.

“Along with supporting California’s broader air quality goals, this investment expands reliable, low-cost charging solutions to California residents living outside major metropolitan areas.”

Electrify America will dispatch 30 stand-alone EV ARC 2020 stations to areas in rural California. Because of the custom size and flexible nature of the EV ARC 2020, the stations can be deployed quickly and without disruptive construction.

“Electric vehicles accounted for about 8% of car sales in California in 2019 but EV penetration is still less than half a percent in rural areas,” added Envision Solar CEO, Desmond Wheatley.

“Electrify America’s deployment of our rapidly deployed, solar-powered EV charging products will help the State get closer to its goal of 250,000 charging stations by 2025, while putting fully emissions free driving within reach of those who need it most.”

The units are built to withstand extreme weather – holding up against winds up to 120mph and floods up to 9.5 feet. This keeps the technology operating in the event of a blackout or power outage.

Additionally, the chargers can serve as a resource for first responders who may need quickly to relocate the transportable units to provide power in the event of an emergency.

Installation of the Envision Solar chargers will start in the first half of 2020.