Solana Beach leads in enviro tech
Solar power station latest example of city’s dedication
When it comes to preserving the environment, Solana Beach is certainly in the drivers seat.
For starters, it recently became the site of one of the first solar-powered electric car charging stations in the county. The city was visited by the type of electric car many hope will become commonplace.
“The environmental buzz is on in Solana Beach,” said Jack Hegenauer of the city’s Clean and Green Committee.
Before many electric cars went on display in Mission Valley at the Alternative Fuels convention last Saturday, a prototype of the Chevrolet Volt made a special appearance at the Mabuno furniture store on N. Cedros Avenue.
If it needed to, it could have stopped on Highway 101 to recharge for the drive back. That’s because after three years of participation in clean and green meetings, Sequoia Solar CEO Marty Reed chose Solana Beach for his newest solar power charging station. It just happens to be at his company’s office in the city.
“The marriage of solar-generated electricity and electric vehicle charging is an exciting prospect for us and for the advancement of clean tech and reducing our carbon footprint,” Reed said in a press release.
Sequoia’s station is likely to be the first of many of its kind, as the new electric cars will only be able to go a certain amount of miles using the battery. The Volt, for instance, will travel 40 miles before a small gasoline engine kicks in. Other cars will not have that traditional engine as a backup, and therefore be difficult to take on long trips. The Tesla, will be able to travel more than 240 miles, but can take hours to recharge. That could be a tough adjustment for those accustomed to quickly stopping at gas stations.
“They call that range anxiety,” Hegenauer said. “We have solar panels at the house so we have the capacity to do charging … I probably wouldn’t want to take a car like that to L.A.”
But there may soon be the possibility of rooftop solar recharging panels for electric cars. Either way, Solana Beach residents should have no problem buzzing around town.
Steve Goetsch, head of the Clean and Green Committee, said he would expect area supermarkets, malls and other public venues to eventually offer electric charging stations for people to plug into while they run errands.
“Solana Beach has a history of being way out in front of things,” he said, adding the city was one of the first to ban cigarette smoking in bars and beaches. “We’ve done a lot of innovative things and keep looking for things to do to try to be leaders.”
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