CYPRESS, CA -- Mitsubishi Motors debuted its solar-powered charging station for electric vehicles at the company’s North American headquarters in Cypress, Calif., on July 7.

A solar-powered EV charging station at Mitsubishi Motors' North American headquarters in California.

A solar-powered EV charging station at Mitsubishi Motors' North American headquarters in California.

The charging station, powered by 96 175W photovoltaic modules from Mitsubishi Electric, will fuel electric vehicles including the Mitsubishi i. The Mitsubishi i is scheduled to arrive in showrooms this November. 

The EV charging station features three types of chargers with different voltages. The standard level 1 voltage (110v) charger can fully charge the Mitsubishi i in 22 hours. The Level 2 (220v) unit can charge the vehicle in seven hours. The level 3 CHAdeMO Quick Charger can charge up to 80-percent battery capacity in 30 minutes. The latter charger complies with the CHAdeMO Association’s quick charger standard.  

Eaton Corp. manufactured the DC quick charger used for the Cypress station. This is the first CHAdeMO Quick Charger certified for U.S. sale and public use. Rogers Electric installed the charging equipment and supporting electrical infrastructure. California Green Designs developed the twin-arch structure for the charging station. 

Mitsubishi Electric's solar panels are made with lead-free solder, and have one of the higher sunlight-to-energy conversion ratios in the industry, the company said.

The charging station project marked the first collaboration between Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA Inc. (Mitsubishi Electric) and Mitsubishi Motors North America Inc. The station is located near the junction of the 405 and 605 freeways. Mitsubishi hopes the facility can serve as a gateway charging pad for Mitsubishi i users commuting between Los Angeles and Orange counties.

"This project will build awareness of solar power's versatility and efficiency," said Katsuya Takamiya, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA. "As electric vehicles' popularity grows, we expect to see more charging stations at large employers, automobile dealerships, shopping centers and schools, where cars can charge while people work, shop or study."

Last week, Mitsubishi announced that the Mitsubishi i has drawn a 126-MPGe city driving rating and a 99-MPGe highway rating (112 MPGe combined) from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. 

Mitsubishi i

Mitsubishi i

The EPA gave the electric vehicle a "real world" driving range of 62 miles. The "real world" EPA driving evaluation incorporates battery-sapping segments of aggressive driving and operating the vehicle in higher ambient temperatures with the air conditioning on.

Additionally, the EPA has rated the vehicle's LA4 driving cycle range at 98 miles. The EPA LA4 driving cycle test covers a distance of approximately 7.5 miles and includes numerous brief stops along the route to mimic in-town driving with its frequent starts and stops for traffic signals. 

Mitsubishi said it has worked to improve the driving range of the 2012 Mitsubishi i, attributing the 98-mile range to software upgrades and a revamped regenerative braking system.

"We feel that with the combination of capability, affordability, and high level of efficiency offered by the 2012 Mitsubishi i will prove very appealing to consumers considering EV transportation," said Yoichi Yokozawa, president and CEO of Mitsubishi Motors North America.

For more information about the vehicle, click here