Chicago Car-Sharing Nonprofit Uses Solar-Powered Charging Station for EVs

The Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) approved the installation of an I-GO Car Sharing solar-powered charging station for the nonprofit’s electric vehicles (EVs), I-GO announced in a press release in December.

I-GO recently announced its EV project that will add 36 all-electric vehicles to its fleet and 18 solar charging stations to provide clean power to its cars.

The announcement marks the latest effort by CTA to promote car-sharing services as a complement to public transit. In 2009, the CTA and I-GO began offering a joint smart card that allows a seamless transfer between public transit and an I-GO vehicle.

“I-GO is committed to being at the forefront of car-sharing technology and sustainability, and providing pollution-free EVs to our members is part of that commitment,” said Sharon Feigon, CEO of I-GO. “Our forward-looking public and private sector partners understand the value of clean transportation options and are working with I-GO to make them available to their customers and constituents.”

Each solar charging station will form a canopy that covers four parking spaces. Each canopy will be topped with 44 solar panels, for a capacity of 10 kilowatts. In aggregate, the canopies will produce about 200,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity annually, which will power as much as 600,000 miles driven per year. As a result, I-GO and its members could save as many as 17,000 gallons of gasoline each year.

The company 350Green will install the solar canopies. To see a rendering of the canopies, visit: http://www.igocars.org/2011/11/30/solar-canopies/

Formed in 2002, I-GO has 15,000 members and more than 200 locations in 35 neighborhoods and four suburbs throughout the Chicago region. Members pay for cars by the hour and gas is included in the hourly fee. To find out more information, go to www.igocars.org.

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