Install solar canopies over charging stations
The price of electric cars continues to decrease. The number of additional models offered by auto dealers and travel range of electric cars increases each year. With a need for infrastructure to support the increasing numbers of electric vehicles for long-range travel, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s plan to install an additional 69 charging stations along the New York State Thruway is a step in the right direction.
Car manufacturers will need to depend more and more on the sale of electric vehicles in order to meet a more stringent fleet average mpg. They recognize the need for infrastructure to support these sales. The state installed four charging stations in 2016 on the Thruway between Albany and New York City in collaboration with Nissan. Tesla has installed charging stations throughout the state, including the station next to the Eastern Hills Mall.
I have a suggestion to improve the charging station proposal and provide a benefit for all Thruway travelers. Since the charging stations will be built at each of the service areas, and every service area is a sea of asphalt, add solar canopies over the parking areas to provide power to the chargers and provide shade to the vehicles below. In the summer, the sun can heat paved areas 40 to 60 degrees above the ambient air temperature. The interior of the parked cars in the sun can get even hotter, creating unsafe conditions for pets and their human companions. The solar canopy will take away the heat island.
Completion of Cuomo’s proposal will add the Thruway to the list of federal Electric Vehicle Charging Corridors, a network that will initially reach over 25,000 miles of highways across the country. Addition of our other cross-state interstate highways should also be a priority to create a network base to serve all regions of the state.
John S. Szalasny