The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.
Untitled Document

GM's Solar Mission: Volt Charging Stations

General Motors wants to make eco-friendly cars and make sure some of those cars get eco-friendly source of electricity. That's the idea behind the company's $7.5 million equity investment in Sunlogics.

Aside from making the investment through General Motors Ventures, the carmaker also signed agreements with Sunlogics to put solar panels on electric car charging stations at Chevrolet dealerships and GM’s own buildings. GM also has signed power purchase agreements to buy power from larger solar arrays that Sunlogics will build at GM’s facilities.

The automaker Friday said it plans to put solar charging stations at 24 dealerships in North America. Installations already have been completed for two dealers, one in California and the other in Michigan. GM and Sunlogics will pay for iinitial costs of the equipment, permitting and construction while the dealers will pay a monthly charge after the stations are completed, said Sharon Basel, a spokeswoman for GM.

The automaker launched the plug-in electric hybrid Chevy Volt late last year and set up a $100 million venture capital fund to support technology development in more fuel efficient gasoline or electric vehicles.

Installing solar panels at charging stations helps to avoid the inevitable jab by critics that electric cars aren’t as “green” as they appear because most of the electricity generated in the United States comes from power plants using coal and natural gas. Such projects also make a good marketing strategy, of course, as GM will face a growing competition in the young electric car market.

Expect more charging station owners or car dealers to do the same if the electric market takes off. SolarCity, which began as a solar system installer, announced this week that it’s now selling and installing electric car charging stations as well. The company’s proposition is that solar electricity can be had for cheaper than power from utilities, so electric car owners should just buy solar systems along with a home electric car charging unit.

Sunlogics, which lists Rochester Hills, Mich., as the location of its headquarters, plans to use some of the money from GM to set up a headquarters and build a factory Detroit. The company also plans to build factory in Ontario, Canada. Sunlogics makes its own solar panels using amorphous silicon. It uses its own panels and equipment from other suppliers to build power generation projects.

It's peculiar that GM chose a company that is using a technology that hasn't gained much traction in the market. We used to hear a lot more about startups developing amorphous silicon thin films a few years ago. Ever since Applied Materials ditched the business of selling factory equipment for making amorphous silicon panels last year, the industry's collective enthusiasm for the technology seems to have dissipated. 

But Sunlogics has served GM before. Sunlogics previously built solar arrays at GM facilities in Spain and California.

GM said its buildings are home to 30 megawatts of solar right now, and that number will grow to 60 megawatts “in the next few years.”

 

Untitled Document

RELATED ARTICLES

Study Reveals Room for Sales Response Improvement in Growing Solar Industry

Scott Ankley Solar installations have grown by more than 600 percent across both residential and commercial properties in the past...

Why Renewable Energy in Latin America is a Winner

Carlos Candiales Renewable energy in Latin America has made some important gains over the last decade and seems positioned to continue...

PRESS RELEASES

20 days to GRC Annual Meeting & GEA Geothermal Energy Expo

The Geothermal Resources Council (GRC) has announced that it is only 20 days to go to t...

Canadian Solar Announces Partnership in 200 MW Tranquility Solar Power Project

Recurrent Energy signed an agreement with Southern Power to partner on the Tranquility ...

AWS Truepower Announces Major Expansion of its Due Diligence Team in Response to Growing Market Demand

AWS Truepower, an international leader in wind and solar energy consulting and engineer...

Array Technologies’ DuraTrack HZ v3 Continues to (R)evolutionize at SPI

Array Technologies, Inc. (ATI) prepares to showcase its recently launched tracking syst...

FEATURED BLOGS

NATiVE Recognized for Excellence at 2015 Greater Austin Business Awards

NATiVE Recognized for Excellence at 2015 Greater Austin Business Awards NEWS RELEASE AUSTIN, Texas – Aug. 27...

Solar Energy Means Jobs, Savings, and a Low-Cost Future [infographic]

There are a lot of utility-sponsored legislative and regulatory attacks on solar energy lately, and we put together t...

How To Get People To Do Stuff

It’s no secret that psychology and sales go hand in hand. If you understand the principles of human psychology ...

Get In The Groove

When we talk about strategies for boosting productivity, we often overlook the fact certain projects lend themselves ...

FINANCIAL NEWS

Ucilia Wang is a California-based freelance journalist who writes about renewable energy. She previously was the associate editor at Greentech Media and a staff writer covering the semiconductor industry at Red Herring. In addition to Renewable En...

CURRENT MAGAZINE ISSUE

Volume 18, Issue 4
1507REW_C11

STAY CONNECTED

To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:

SOCIAL ACTIVITY

Tweet the Editors! @jennrunyon

FEATURED PARTNERS



EVENTS

Solar Power International 2015

Solar Power International, ranked as the largest solar trade show in Nor...

International Energy and Sustainability Conference 2015

The fourth International Energy and Sustainability Conference will be he...

Intersolar South America 2015

Exhibition and Conference: September 1-3, 2015 Intersolar South America ...

COMPANY BLOGS

Obama’s Clean Power Plan A Good First Step

On Aug. 3, President Obama unveiled the final version of his eagerly ant...

Your Brain At Work

On Saturday, we discussed the value of the “brain dump” as i...

The Key To A Productive Mind

I’m sure most of you utilize a variety of productivity tools on a ...

NEWSLETTERS

Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now  

 

FEATURED PARTNERS