Audi solar powered EV charging station

Audi solar powered EV charging station

Electric vehicle backers love to tout the fact that the so-called green vehicles don’t produce any emissions and don’t rely on dirty fossil fuels dug up out of the ground, but at the end of the day their electrical energy has to come from somewhere--and more often than not it comes from said fossil fuels, which are burned in power stations all across the globe.

Audi is one automaker that’s backing a clean solution: solar energy. At its main plant in Ingolstadt, Audi e-tron models will in future have their batteries charged with electrical energy obtained directly from photovoltaic equipment on the plant site.

The automaker is converting the roofs of its factories into power generators, lining them with photovoltaic solar cells that will eventually send power to the plant’s charging stations. The photovoltaic installation uses innovative thin-layer modules that satisfy the most stringent environmental protection, efficiency and flexibility standards.

Approximately 460 MWh of electricity can be obtained from this new installation, enough to satisfy the annual needs of around 180 households.

Audi uses the e-tron name for its electric vehicles, the first of which will be the R8 e-tron due in 2012. Similar to its quattro labeling, Audi's new electric vehicles will wear an e-tron badge, signifying that the cars are running an electric motor(s) instead of a conventional internal combustion engine.