Future cars to be solar powered

17 February 2009

Merger of solar power with electric vehicles

Applied Materials conducted a simulation of the “carbon-free” transportation at its Silicon Valley research campus, connecting battery-operated vehicles into the electrical grid utilising energy generated by the company’s parking lot-based solar array. The company’s 2-megawatt solar power plant is one of the largest corporate installations in the U.S. The demonstration took place during the U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum held at Applied Materials and was attended by leaders from both nations looking at ways to increase collaboration on renewable energy and alternative fuel projects to improve the environment and promote energy security.

The all-day conference included demonstrations of advanced solutions integrating a parking lot-based solar array, electric vehicles, smart grid technology, energy storage and high-performance battery recharging systems. An afternoon roundtable brought together industry experts on renewable technologies from the U.S. and China, and focused on the opportunities to build clean-tech manufacturing industries and create jobs in both countries.

“This was an excellent opportunity to spotlight some of the best clean energy technology Silicon Valley and the United States have to offer,” said Charlie Gay, president, Applied Solar, Applied Materials. “Both the U.S. and China face similar energy and environmental challenges. By merging solar power with electric vehicles, we also have a tremendous opportunity to develop a cleaner, more sustainable transportation future and help drive the global clean energy economy, while reducing dependence on fossil fuels.”

The U.S. and China together use about half of the total energy consumed in the world and produce a similar share of greenhouse gas emissions. The world’s energy demands are increasing, creating an unprecedented urgency for solutions. In the U.S., oil is primarily used as a transportation fuel, while other fossil fuels such as coal and natural gas are used to generate electricity for the grid. Electrification of transportation offers the potential to drastically reduce oil consumption, and powering vehicles with electricity generated from renewable sources would further contribute to the goals of energy independence and environmental protection.

The U.S.-China Clean Energy Forum is a high-level, private-sector-led forum focused on addressing how the U.S. and China can cooperate on clean energy technologies and alternative fuels. The Forum includes experts in energy, finance and public policy who are cooperating to identify priorities and explore solutions in three broad topical areas: energy conservation and efficiency, environmental protection and renewable energy.

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