Launch of pop-up solar charging stations for electric vehicles.

Launch of new pop-up solar charging stations for electric vehicles. Subscribe to Electric Vehicle News Bitesize Podcast for FREE!

3ti is introducing the launch of a new pop-up solar charging station for electric vehicles that can be installed in just 24 hours.

The solution is called Papilio3. 3ti said it will address the need for the U.K. government to expand its electric vehicle infrastructure ahead of a 2030 ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars.

It is built around recycled shipping containers. The device supports up to 12 Electric Vehicle charging points.

Solar and battery powered charging systems optimize charging speed and reduce the CO2 intensity of the electricity consumed.

Tim Evans, 3ti founder and CEO said, “Overnight charging at home generally provides the most cost effective, carbon efficient, sustainable form of Electric Vehicle charging. In the UK, around 50% of households will not be able to do this. If you live in a flat, a tower block, a rented house, in temporary accommodation or even in a £10m terraced town house in Chelsea, you’re probably not going to be able to charge an Electric Vehicle at home.   

“We believe that solar and battery boosted destination and workplace charging will become the best Electric Vehicle charging solution for drivers, irrespective of the type of home they live in.

“By utilising dwell times of several hours, when cars are parked at work or when the driver is visiting a shopping or leisure venue, 3ti’s system ensures that Electric Vehicles can achieve a level of charge that covers day to day driving needs and does it in the most low carbon way.”

Equipped with three modular canopies, the Papilio3 supports 36 solar panels and has a battery storage capacity of up to 250 kWh.

The solution was developed by 3ti with Cambridge Design Partners. It is designed for use in workplaces and public spaces such as hospitals, hotels, conference centres, sports or shopping centres, tourist attractions and city centres.

Each unit provides shade, lighting and an Electric Vehicle charging experience. The units support a mix of 7, 11 and 22 kilowatt chargers.

Evans said: “The launch and widespread adoption of SCPs will turn underutilised spaces into renewable energy generating assets. Adding batteries and Electric Vehicle charge points will accelerate decarbonisation of the UK’s transport sector.

“Allowing businesses to generate renewable energy right outside their front door gives them greater control of energy costs. It also makes a huge statement to customers and visitors that they are serious about tackling climate change and reducing carbon emissions.

“By deploying fast charge points, up to 12 at a time, with Papilio3, we will provide much needed, cost-effective charge point infrastructure and expand the UK’s network of public Electric Vehicle charge points.” 

According to 3ti, the Papilio3 integrates three technologies that are usually considered separately. These are solar photovoltaics, battery energy storage systems and electric vehicle charging stations.

Combining the three could bring many benefits, including harnessing the grid, solar energy and battery storage to optimize the speed and low carbon intensity of Electric Vehicle charging.

Using solar panels to generate renewable energy on-site can also reduce energy costs and give businesses more control over energy supply.

Evans explained. “The launch of the Papilio3 isn’t just about providing the UK with a broader range of Electric Vehicle charge points”.

“It also focuses on the capture and management of renewable energy, as a way of reducing the country’s draw on carbon-intensive energy for Electric Vehicle charging at peak times.”

The Papilio3 units are owned by 3ti and are rented out on a monthly basis with limited licensing and no capital investment by customers.

Mark Potter, 3ti chief technical officer said. “One of the best things about owning an Electric Vehicle is that you don’t have to visit a petrol station to fill up.”

“As Electric Vehicle drivers, we want to charge when we stop, not stop to charge. Rapid charging with 50-250 kW is fine for en-route charging during long journeys. However, it’s not the right solution for regular use – it increases battery degradation. 

“If you can’t charge at home, it’s best to charge when you arrive at where you’re going. Cars are parked 95% of their time. That’s when and where they should be charged. 

“Destination and workplace charging is a more sustainable option, better value and much more convenient. 

“The three technologies integrated in Papilio3 enable the system to store and use the cleanest, lowest cost energy from its own solar panels and the grid supply. That means we can reduce the demand on peak hours grid energy without compromising Electric Vehicle charging speed.”

A pop-up electric vehicle charging station has been unveiled at Guildford’s Surrey Research Park, which is home to more than 200 companies, from early-stage start-ups to global companies such as Airbus and BAE Systems.

The Research Park is owned by the University of Surrey and employs over 4,500 people, a result of the park’s customer base. This consists of a growing group of sustainability-focused companies with strong links to the University of Surrey.

Grant Bourhill, chief executive officer at Surrey Research Park, said: “The launch and roll out of Papilio3 reflects our commitment to sustainability in addition to testing new innovation and supporting business growth.

“The University of Surrey has recently improved its position to 55th in the global sustainability rankings of over 1400 institutions, and the work with 3ti is yet another example of our sustainability commitment.”

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Launch of pop-up solar charging stations for electric vehicles.
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