Friday, July 30, 2010

OMSI First out with Sanyo Solar eBike Charging Station

Via BikePortland comes news that OMSI has installed a solar charging station for eBikes and eVehicles.

From the release:
Through a collaborative effort from the SANYO North America Corporation (SANYO), InSpec Group (InSpec), and Portland General Electric (PGE), the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) has installed a solar canopy charging station to service electric cars, e-bikes, and most portable personal electronic devices. The solar charging canopy marks the first such installation in North America aiming to provide a solution for the increasing use of alternative transportation. The canopy is now available for public use....

The solar canopy has been installed in OMSI's south parking lot and is large enough to cover 3 standard-sized parking spaces for automobiles. It features weatherproof lockers, each with 120V AC outlets, with two of the lockers serving as charging mounts for the SANYO ‘eneloop bike' Synergetic Hybrid Bicycle, a pedal-assisted hybrid electric bicycle. Additionally, beneath the canopy there is a bicycle rack for bicycle parking.
Sanyo also gave OMSI three bikes. Photos of the installed station can be seen in the BikePortland article.

Willamette University and the City of Salem had had some conversations about a charging station, but multiple considerations suggested it might not yet be practical, among them being variety in transformer/charging packs across different manufacturers.

It will be interesting to follow the use of the station at OMSI and to see whether such a station can be duplicated elsewhere.

Sanyo Solar has a factory in Salem, and some had hoped Salem might be first to roll out a charging station.

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