July 12, 2024

Innovation & Tech Today


Buyer’s guide: The Top 50 Most Innovative Products

A Pandemic Shift; Company Moves to Increase Production of Solar-Powered Chargers for Healthcare Infrastructure

The current healthcare crisis has caused many companies to change plans. Some have shut down; others have ramped-up production of critical goods needed to combat the coronavirus. One small but growing company in San Diego, California, deemed an essential service during the crisis, realigned its production to focus on one product—the EV ARC 2020, which looks just like what it is, a free-standing solar-charging platform for electric vehicles, or in this new use case, emergency power for healthcare workers now operating outdoors.

Envision Solar EV ARC

As hospitals expanded into parking lots to more safely perform critical testing and other services in this new socially distanced world, rather than rely on diesel-powered generators, frontline workers could power their equipment on sunshine.  Manufactured in California, the EV ARC can be easily deployed anywhere there’s a parking space size piece of level ground. Its 6-kilowatt (kW) emergency power panel is fed all day by the sun from a tracking array on top of the unit. Because of the unit’s sophisticated tracking system, the solar panel can generate 25% more electricity than a fixed array.

For an emergency like the pandemic, the EV ARC became a great fit since it can be deployed without trenching, foundations or any kind of installation, and moved wherever needed. When the virus crisis moves on, it could become a stand-alone EV charging station.

Producing Value in a Crisis

The EV ARC is “something that produces value in a crisis,” explained Desmond Wheatley, CEO of Envision Solar (Nasdaq-CM: EVSI and EVSIW). But emergency power in a hospital parking lot is just one of uses that more than 100 customers have found for Envision products. “It’s the tip of the tip of the iceberg,” Wheatley added.

Envision Solar was started more than a decade ago by some entrepreneurs who planned on building bespoke solar shades for private parking lots. Wheatley was brought in by investors to figure out how to grow the company, which he realigned into a sustainable technology company with a goal of scaling up by providing solar-powered electric charging for the expanding electric vehicle market. The company has since added energy security technology and a media component to the company’s portfolio.

A Transformational Product

While the EV ARC has found a home with public and private electric fleets around the country and is experiencing continued growth, Wheatley said the company’s gamechanger product recently received a patent and is coming to market. Called the EV Standard, the product could be seen as a replacement streetlamp—or a new way to provide light and electric power.

Publicly Available EV ARC in Richmond California

Wheatley sees the EV Standard as the “transformational” tool that can provide ubiquitous charging for those who don’t have access home or work charging—or just need a boost while out and about. It combines solar, wind and utility-generated electricity with a bank of integrated batteries. Most existing streetlamps don’t have the juice to charge an EV without a substantial upgrade, Wheatley said, but the EV Standard with its additional power source and storage will be able to do the job.

The EV Standard comes with a state-of-the-art high-lumens, low-consumption LED light and will provide Level 2 charging. The wind and solar part of the system provide the extra boost needed for EV charging. In the same way the EV ARC found a home in emergency services, the EV Standard also will be capable of providing lighting and power to IoT-connected devices, even if the grid is down.

The EV Standard streetlamp offers the promise of volume that’s so important to the growth of a small public company like Envision Solar. Wheatley hinted that more is coming soon from the company as part of a rebranding move, so stay tune for the next chapter that may be bringing solar power and EV charging to a street corner near you.



Picture of By Michael Coates

By Michael Coates

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