Thursday, February 9, 2017

Cities go green with charging stations

Cities go green with charging stations 
This article from The Kingsburg Recorder is not directly related to South Africa or Africa. It does however report on the electric vehicle solar charging stations which have recently been installed in Kingsburg and Selma.
“It’s very progressive and cutting edge,” said Moses Stites, general manager of the Fresno County Rural Transit Agency. “Since they’re solar, they don’t work off the grid and they don’t cost a dime for anybody.”
I think this is very relevant to Africa and developing countries everywhere. As I've mentioned a couple of times before in this blog, solar charging points are going to electrify transport in Africa and get the whole continent mobile.

Because solar charging stations work off the grid, it's possible to put them in the most remote parts of the African continent, far away from existing electricity grids and in places that are inaccessible or not practical for petrol tankers to get to. I'm sure that at the moment, on the continent there are many places where it is necessary to take along your own supply of fuel to ensure you make it from one refueling point to the next.

There are places where there are no petrol stations as there is not enough traffic to make it economically viable. A solar charging station will be much cheaper to build or set up than a petrol station, there's no need to dig big holes to place the fuel tanks and no plumbing and minimal wiring. All that is necessary is solar panels, a battery to store any excess electricity that is produced and a charging plug or two. A solar charging station will require a lot less attention and maintenance. It won't require tankers to come to fill up the fuel tanks and there's not much in the way of mechanical equipment that can go wrong. The most that will probably need to be done is the solar panels will need fairly regular cleaning to maximise their efficiency.

Solar charging points will bring cheap motorised transportation to all of the continent. They could charge private vehicles as well as commercial trucks and buses, bringing a whole new level of commerce and prosperity to far flung places. Farmers who still depend on human and animal power will be able to solar charge tractors and other machinery, increasing their productivity which in turn will help alleviate shortage of food and hunger in areas where this is still a problem.

Children who at the moment live too far from a school or are not able to afford transport to get to school, will be able to travel to school and back on a rechargeable bus, negating expensive fuel costs.

Solar power will bring many benefits to Africa, I feel powering mobility will be the biggest one.

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