Ambitious new EV charging network launches in the US

January 19, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Access to charging stations is one of the stumbling blocks for America’s proposed electric vehicle future. Missouri-based EOS Linx found a way to combine its work in advertising, security, data analytics and renewable energy into an interesting package that could quickly boost EV drivers’ charging options. They’re pairing charging stations with 75-inch screens that will advertise stuff to people charging their cars — and even passers-by. Expect these charging stations to pop up at hotels, convenience stores and other businesses, starting with Atlanta , Chattanooga and Dallas . Inhabitat interviewed Jeff Hutchins, chief information officer at EOS Linx, about the company’s plan for its new charging and advertising network. Related: Stadler electric trains are on their way to Germany Inhabitat: What does the name EOS Linx mean? Hutchins: Eos is the Greek goddess of the dawn, who opened the gates of heaven for the sun to rise. EOS “rose” in October 2020 through the linkage of separate business operations that each focused on a component of what is now the EOS integrated platform. By linking the various solutions, EOS is best positioned to maximize the rollout opportunities of the EOS Charge Station and support the growing need for EV infrastructure across the country. Inhabitat: Who are the people who came up with the idea? Hutchins: EOS Linx was founded by the collaborative efforts of Mike Mills, Dan Briggs, myself and Blake Snider. Each founder brought a unique perspective and established history from their respective business lines – solar energy, EV chargers, renewable investments and technology operations and integration. Together, EOS Linx leverages these partnerships and expertise to create new opportunities in the industry. We continue to evolve the vision as we roll out our deployment and learn from our end users. The primary goal of our approach is to drive improvement in the overall user experience.   Inhabitat: What kind of business partners do you have so far? Hutchins: EOS Linx partners are industry experts in a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to, digital out-of-home advertising, solar solutions, wireless connectivity and EV charging . We partner with organizations that demonstrate a similar vision and moral ethic committed to making smart community solutions available to everyone. EOS Linx has a robust channel program that encourages participation on all fronts – manufacturing, installation, operations, advertising, technology integration, loyalty program management and site acquisition. We believe that the fastest and most efficient path to a truly sustainable network will come from intelligent partnering and interoperability.   Inhabitat: How did you decide to start with building charging stations in Atlanta, Dallas and Chattanooga? Hutchins: We have a very detailed analytical process where we evaluate every market based on dozens of factors, including economic development, innovation programs, market value, economic diversity, EV readiness, advertising value and many others. We perform analysis on each market, potential partners and each location to determine feasibility. These three markets met our criteria and provided us with great partners and friendly utility programs. We found great anchor location partners, as well, with convenience store co-ops like the Lone Star Business Association Cooperative, Atlanta Retailers Association and Independent Buyer’s Co-Op. We are moving into two more markets in early 2022 that will be announced shortly.  Inhabitat: What percentage of the car charge is coming from your solar panel? Hutchins: The digital out of home (DooH) advertising and all of the technology components are 100% solar powered. The only power that is coming from the grid is for the actual EV charging. Our solar generation provides excess energy beyond what the technology components require, which augments the EV charging where possible. The amount will vary from site to site based on the environmental factors and orientation. In these early deployments, we are focused on gathering the data around power generation and utilization. We will analyze that data and use it to become even more energy efficient and leverage energy storage on a larger scale. We have designed our units to be highly configurable and flexible to adjust the parts and pieces once we have this data . We believe in the utility companies and the services they provide, and we feel it is critical to work with them from both a business and a technical standpoint in designing a solution that provides the best possible experience for the end user. Inhabitat: Please describe a person’s typical charging experience. Hutchins: We want people to feel informed, safe and comfortable when they use our charging network. The EOS Charge Station is equipped with a universal adapter. Charge time varies based on location and the car itself – most stations are equipped with a high end 40amp Level 2 charger, while other locations have fast chargers installed. We work with our site partners to understand their goals and install the best charger for the lifestyle of users and the use case of their specific location. However, since EOS Charge Stations are designed to be modular, an upgraded charger can be installed at anytime business needs change. Inhabitat: Tell us about your missing children campaign. Hutchins: The DooH advertising component included in every EOS Charge Station gives us the ability to serve the community with public service announcements, including our partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). One 15 second spot within each advertising loop (3 minutes) is dedicated to finding missing children in each market. Our team works closely with the NCMEC to quickly display any alerts received. In addition to our partnership with NCMEC and other public service alerts, EOS Linx also runs an awareness campaign for Code Adam, a missing child safety program. EOS is proud to support the important mission of this organization and program dedicated to keeping children safe. Inhabitat: How are EOS Linx kiosks different from other EV chargers already on the market? Hutchins: EOS Charge Stations are modular – each key component can be upgraded/replaced quickly and easily as needed to meet evolving and changing market demands. This is extremely valuable as new demographics of users continue to emerge and EV charging technology changes faster than it can be permitted and deployed. We strongly believe this separates us from many of the other solutions. We are also very focused on the user experience and aligning that with the deployment location. Inhabitat: How does EOS Linx make its money through the ads and data capture? Hutchins: Our EOS Charge Stations are installed at no cost to our partners – including hotel and convenience store owners. We cover the capital cost, the installation, the operations and maintenance and the electricity . We believe that EOS Charge Stations should be turn-key and hands-off for our location partners. With an EOS Charge Station installed, property owners can provide EV drivers with added convenience and promote sustainability initiatives throughout their communities. We also offer the location partners integrated messaging through the screen and our mobile application. This creates economic value for both the location partner and the EV driver. Ad revenue generated through the DooH advertising displays helps offset the cost of the installation and maintenance for the EOS Charge Stations. The DooH program provides EOS Linx with the tools to continue our mission of renewable energy solutions and ultimately helps support our nation’s ambitious EV growth targets. Inhabitat: What else should people know about EOS Linx? Hutchins: EOS Linx has been an evolving business for the last four years, and coalesced into its current form in 2020. The EOS Linx team and ownership group has a unique background in renewable energy, fund management and distributed implementations. This positions us well to take advantage of the current and future incentives and support the creation of “smart community solutions.” We are also preparing to launch an app this year to enhance the EV user experience and foster a community (with economic benefits) for EV drivers. In addition to locating charging stations, the app will be able to share important aspects of EOS Charge Station locations (including safety and lighting) and encourage users to share their feedback. We want people to feel informed, safe and comfortable when they use our charging network. + EOS Linx Images via EOS Linx

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Ambitious new EV charging network launches in the US

Beam solar-powered off-grid EV chargers deployed worldwide

January 10, 2022 by  
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Off-grid EV charger manufacturer Beam has now installed solar-powered off-grid EV chargers in more than 100 municipalities in the U.S. and around the world in Spain, Brazil, Canada and the Caribbean. It’s big news in an industry that has so far relied on EV chargers that are on-grid and permanently installed. New York City , Beam’s biggest customer, now has around 100 Beam chargers. After years of critique that EV charging infrastructure is too big a project to reach all areas that would need it, Beam has created an off-grid solution that takes EV charging wherever it needs to go. Beam Global CEO Desmond Wheatley told CleanTechnica in May 2021 that his EV charger company had fulfilled an order from the state of California for 52 off-grid solar-powered EV chargers. Each has 44kWh of battery storage capacity and a 4.3 kW solar array. Related: Shine Turbine is a wind-powered portable device charger The secret to Beam’s success is both in quality and in design. Beam off-grid EV chargers don’t need any construction or electrical work to install, so they don’t require permitting. Made in the United States, Beam’s EV chargers are not permanently installed in their location, making them easy to deploy to other locations. Off-grid chargers are also used after natural disasters for power in remote areas. “We also see cities and states that value the transportability of the EV ARC™ system,” Wheatley said, “and that it can be swiftly redeployed depending on how a city needs to use the infrastructure. The City of Oakland , California, for example, redeployed some of their EV ARC™ systems to power COVID-19 emergency sites in April 2020.” Beam EV chargers have been sold to the U.S. Marine Corps and multiple cities. One Beam EV charger can provide 265 miles of driving charge to electric cars in a day. They can charge up to six vehicles at a time, and the solar tracking function allows for 25% more generation than a fixed array. They are completely solar-powered, flood-proof up to 9.5 feet, and wind-rated to 120 mph. They can even be used as generators during grid failures. + Beam Via CleanTechnica Images via Beam

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Beam solar-powered off-grid EV chargers deployed worldwide

Best states in America for owning an electric vehicle

December 30, 2021 by  
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Electric vehicles (EVs) are taking to the roads in record numbers. Car manufacturers drive huge sums into innovating better solutions for range and battery recyclability . States in America are working on infrastructure in anticipation of the changing dynamics on the highways. The federal government is working towards massive tax advantages for those who make the change to electric vehicles too. Bumper, an automotive site aimed at facilitating well-informed car sales and purchases, has put together a ranking of the financial and infrastructural aspects of owning an electric car in the U.S. Which state has the most readily-available charging stations? Where will you receive the largest kickback for your purchase of an electric vehicle? Related: Public art electric vehicle charging stations merge design and function The key takeaway is that Washington is the best overall state for owning an EV. Utah comes in at a close second, followed by Colorado, Massachusetts and California. The top 10 is rounded out, in order, with Maryland, Oregon, New York, Nevada and Hawaii . Alaska lacks infrastructure and ranks last.  There are many aspects to consider when evaluating the best places to own and operate an electric vehicle — from the initial purchase to the life of the vehicle. After all, it does require some special considerations in regards to range, benefits to the environment and the practical factors when it comes to charging availability and costs.  Financial incentives were rated with consideration for metrics, including rebates and tax incentives, recharging costs, the price of gas in the area, average travel distances and costs associated with an EV versus those of a gas-powered vehicle. Combining these factors, Washington and Illinois are the top states for financial incentives to own an EV. Utah, Colorado , Oregon and Maryland rank high as well. New Jersey, Hawaii, Ohio and Nevada round out the top ten with slightly lower financial advantages.  As for infrastructure, the research team looked at the number of charging stations that have been installed in the past four years and the number of charging stations per 100,000 populations. They also calculated number of EVSE ports per 100 charging stations as well as the number of EVSE ports per 100 EV vehicle registrations. EV registrations as a percentage of all motor vehicles in the state were the final consideration. In all, Vermont and California top the list for best electric vehicle infrastructure. Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island also ranked high. Colorado, Utah, Georgia, New York and Nevada also offer strong infrastructure for EV owners.  Interestingly, California ranks high in several individual categories, yet came in fifth overall in the state rankings. This is likely because they came in 11th for incentives, at least those available at the time of the study. However, California ranked first in new EV registrations as a percentage of total registrations, so it’s clear the population is adopting the EV option. In fact 425,300 registered EVs in the state. That’s an impressive 41.73% of all registrations nationwide, giving California a dominant lead in getting EVs on the road.  In return, the state is responding effectively to this growth with the number one spot for charging station growth and a second-place ranking for overall EV infrastructure. It also ranks second for the number of charging stations to serve the population, as a measure of stations per 100,000k. The problem areas came to light through this research too, with California ranking 36th in the country when it comes to rebates plus tax incentives. Federal changes may also facilitate change at the state level in the near future. The state came in even lower for recharge costs. This is a reflection of the cost of electricity and plummets California into the 44th position.  The comprehensive report breaks down the data for each state, offering a detailing of the financial and infrastructural benefits and disadvantages in each area. It’s a snapshot of where the adoption of EVs is strong and where it’s barely made the radar . For example, by comparison to California, Alaska and Montana each registered 940 electric cars in 2020 and Mississippi logged 780 while North Dakota is late to the game with a paltry 220 new EVs on the road. Also on the lower end is South Dakota with 410 and West Virginia with 600.  Population has a big effect on the numbers when it comes to percentage of the total EV registrations across the nation. As mentioned, California registered a dominating 41.73%. The next closest was Florida with 5.71% and Texas with 5.12%. Washington breaks the mold with lower population from a smaller state, yet still coming to the table with 4.96% of national registrations. New York clocked 3.2%, New Jersey 2.98% and Arizona 2.82%. In addition to those mentioned on the lower end, Wyoming, Arkansas, Nebraska and Rhode Island rank in the bottom 10 states for new EV registrations.  Via Bumper Image via Nathaniel Blum

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$1.3B Toyota EV battery plant coming to North Carolina

December 8, 2021 by  
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A  North Carolina  town with fewer than 3,000 citizens and known for its antiques festival is about to be on the cutting edge of the electric vehicle revolution. Toyota just announced that it will construct a $1.29 billion battery-building facility in little Liberty, North Carolina. North Carolina worked hard to snag the  Toyota  plant, which will eventually employ at least 1,750 people. Liberty is home to the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite, a designated area that boasts an available workforce, an east coast location and a well-developed transportation infrastructure. The state of North Carolina enticed Toyota with a $438.7 million tax incentive package. Related: 20 new electric vehicles driving onto the scene in 2022 Toyota doesn’t expect the site to be up and running until 2025. Initially, four production lines will have a total capacity of 800,000 lithium-ion batteries. By 2031, the facility is expected to expand to produce 1.2 million battery packs annually. And the company will need them, as it has pledged that 70% of its cars will be  electric  by 2030. The North Carolina Commerce Department said that the new Toyota  battery  plant jobs will pay a minimum average salary of $62,000. Compare that to Randolph County’s current annual average salary of $37,865, and we anticipate that community members will be lining up to apply. “North Carolina’s  economic  story — from the Wright brothers first in flight, to life-saving medicines at Research Triangle Park — we have been a state of firsts, partnering with industries to develop new ideas that really do change people’s lives,” Governor Roy Cooper said at a media event where he announced the future plant on Monday, as reported by the Raleigh News and Observer. The Greensboro Randolph Megasite has everything Toyota was looking for, including proximity to four international  airports  and two seaports, onsite rail and an extensive highway system. Other southern states are also winners in the EV battery production game. Ford and SK Innovation, a South Korean battery maker, are building new factories in Tennessee and Texas. Via >Raleigh News and Observer , Toyota , The Verge Lead image via Toyota

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$1.3B Toyota EV battery plant coming to North Carolina

New Sports and Luxury EVs for 2022

December 7, 2021 by  
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Some of the world’s most expensive cars are getting an electric upgrade. Both Mercedes-Benz and… The post New Sports and Luxury EVs for 2022 appeared first on Earth911.

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New Sports and Luxury EVs for 2022

5 Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas

December 7, 2021 by  
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If your household celebrates Christmas, chances are you put a Christmas tree up in your… The post 5 Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas appeared first on Earth911.

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5 Alternative Christmas Tree Ideas

We Earthlings: Why Recycle E-Waste?

December 7, 2021 by  
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Why should you recycle e-waste? Because electronics contain useful materials that can be recycled into… The post We Earthlings: Why Recycle E-Waste? appeared first on Earth911.

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We Earthlings: Why Recycle E-Waste?

New Electric SUVs and CUVs for 2022

November 26, 2021 by  
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Every year, more new electric vehicle models are rolling out, and 2022 is no exception…. The post New Electric SUVs and CUVs for 2022 appeared first on Earth911.

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Trends in Compact EVs for 2022

November 18, 2021 by  
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As global demand for electric vehicles grows, more automakers are shifting their manufacturing efforts to… The post Trends in Compact EVs for 2022 appeared first on Earth911.

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Kalk anti-poaching e-bikes join the battle in the African bush

October 25, 2021 by  
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Transportation in the African bush requires some very specific features. Vehicles need to be durable, reliable and able to handle the diverse terrain. For park rangers responsible for catching and stopping animal poachers, the stakes are even higher. They need transportation that’s also quiet and environmentally friendly. CAKE, a Swedish electric bike company, has delivered on all accounts. The Kalk AP (anti-poaching) project is a collaboration between CAKE, Goal Zero and the Southern African Wildlife College (SAWC) to find a more efficient and Earth-friendly way to track down poachers in Africa’s National Parks. In the past, rangers used gas-powered motorbikes on the job because they were the fastest and most agile option available. This was not an ideal situation since poachers could easily hear the motorcycles as they approached. Plus, the bikes required refueling, which was provided via helicopter or truck. The entire system was damaging to the very  animal  habitat the team was working to protect.  Related: Bamboo electric bike is designed for Kathmandu locals and tourists The new electric bikes were delivered to South Africa and are currently being tested in the bush by rangers who provide feedback to the SAWC research department. They are comparing the bikes to the existing combustion-engine option and evaluating them on durability and practicality of use.   “The petrol bikes we’ve used previously have all been loud, heavy and expensive to keep running in these areas. The CAKE bikes are quiet, which makes it easier for us to approach poachers undetected. We hope this collaboration will result in more effective anti-poaching in our region and we are really excited to start using the bikes in the wild,” said Mfana Xaba, Anti-poaching Team Leader at SAWC. Kalk AP off-road bikes are recharged in the field with charging stations designed and produced by Goal Zero and placed nearby. Powered by  solar panels , the charging stations are always at the ready, without the need to haul in polluting gasoline.  CAKE custom-made the bikes to respond to the challenges of the African bush. They are equipped with off-road features like oversized tires, a lightweight frame, a cargo rack and a heavy-duty suspension. CAKE plans to use the real-world feedback and make required improvements before sending another batch of bikes to the area.  “It’s great to see that the first batch of Kalk APs has made it to Africa, ready to change the game when it comes to fighting poaching in the most threatened wildlife areas. With fast, quiet and solar-powered driven bikes, we increase our chances of countering poaching and can truly make an impact in the region. This is only the beginning, we will continue to ship bikes to the SAWC in collaboration with the partners they work with to strengthen their anti-poaching work,” said CAKE’s founder and CEO Stefan Ytterborn. To raise money for the project, CAKE is offering a buy-one-give-one Limited-Edition Charity Bundle, which offers the first 50 customers the option to buy one Kalk AP at a charity price, while donating another Kalk AP to SAWC. The bundle also comes with a solar-powered charging station and solar cells from Goal Zero. Plus, CAKE and Goal Zero have committed to donating their profits on the bikes and equipment to SAWC and its partners. + CAKE  Via Southern African Wildlife College   Images via CAKE 

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Kalk anti-poaching e-bikes join the battle in the African bush

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