Chevrolet is installing solar-powered electric charging stations for its Volt all-electric vehicles at dealerships in North America with the Green Zone Initiative. The initiative will generate electricity equivalent to 12 full vehicle charges per day, and excess electricity created will supplement the dealership’s power needs.
“The Chevrolet Green Zone will provide our U.S. dealers with added flexibility when it comes to charging their vehicles, while also reinforcing GM’s commitment to renewable-energy projects,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Global Chevrolet Marketing and Strategy.
American Chevrolet in Modesto, Calif., and Al Serra Auto Plaza in Grand Blanc, Mich., are the first U.S. dealerships to install Green Zones on their property.
“It’s a win for us because the electricity generated will help reduce operating costs, and it’s a win for the environment since solar power helps reduce our carbon footprint,” said Joe Serra, president of Serra Automotive.
Each canopy generates enough electricity for 4,500 charges per vehicle annually.
“Just one of these canopies provides enough renewable energy to power two to three homes per year or more than 25 percent of a dealership’s energy consumption,” Perry said. “Collectively, that will be a lot of power we are putting back into the grid.”
The Chevrolet Green Zone Initiative is part of GM Ventures’ recent announcement to invest $7.5 million in Sunlogics, a solar panel manufacturing and development company that will supply the panels and install the dealer charging stations.
The company derives 1.4 percent of its U.S. energy consumption from renewable resources. GM committed to double its solar output globally by 2015.
“The beauty of this program is that there is no capital cost required from the dealership,” said Dave Halvorson, president, American Chevrolet. “Not only do we generate the solar energy to increase our reliance on renewable electricity, but the Green Zone is a billboard of our commitment to the environment.”