Solar ARC chargers charging two Chevy Bolts

Solar-powered EV chargers provide flexibility and full batteries

Finding the right mix of electric vehicle chargers – capacity, speed, and location – is vital for BGE to reach its goal of electrifying 50 percent of its fleet by 2030.

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BGE set a target to electrify 30 percent of its 1,300-vehicle fleet by 2025 on the way to its ultimate goal of 50 percent by 2030. As EV technologies continue to improve and quickly spread to new types of vehicles, BGE will expand its fleet to include sedans, SUVs, light-duty trucks, forklifts, excavators, and more.

But once half the fleet is electric, the company must find a way to keep the vehicles charged. Fortunately, EV charging technology is evolving as quickly as the vehicles.

BGE recently deployed a new type of charger, called the Beam Solar Arc, that merges solar panels, battery storage, and charging at two of its locations. The Beam EV Arc charges its own battery storage using just solar power; an EV is then charged by the stored energy in the unit’s battery.

“The Solar Arc has the capacity to fully charge our fleet’s Chevy Bolts, but more importantly we can quickly deploy them where it makes the most sense for our fleet’s needs,” said Jaime Barnett, BGE’s manager of emergent technologies and innovation. “We are also building permanent infrastructure for charging solutions which gives us the flexibility to grow our EV fleet in a way that allows us to best serve our customers.”

The Beam Solar Arc is a level 2 charger, and its panels track the sun as it moves across the sky increasing the unit’s generation capacity by 25 percent.

BGE is also developing a 500-unit public charging network across its service area to increase charging options for EV drivers.