Solar recharging point for electric cars unveiled by MP Norman Baker in Rainham

The country’s first solar-powered “filling station” for electric cars was unveiled in Rainham last week.

Dubbed eTap - electricity on tap - the system at the CEME (centre for engineering and manufacutring excellence), in Marsh Way, combines solar energy and power from the national grid to charge Britain’s growing fleet of electric cars and plug-in hybrids.

Designers Use the Sun, have combined the latest solar panel technology with state-of-the-art charging equipment to produce a robust, easy-to-use parking canopy for public use in car parks and public places.

The site was launched by transport minister Norman Baker last Wednesday (July 6) who spoke of the government’s commitment to decarbonise road transport.

Bill Williams, chief executive of CEME, said: “We are delighted to have the inaugural eTap within our grounds, another ‘UK First’ at CEME’s campus demonstrating our role at the heart of the innovative manufacturing sector. This is ‘destination charging’ at its best, visitors to CEME will be able plug-in their electric cars, go about their business on the campus and return to a charged vehicle.”

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eTap canopies produce renewable solar electricity from the photovoltaic cells mounted on the roof.

This is either used to charge electric cars or is exported back into the National Grid.

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The chargers are activated using a pay-by-phone system, which will refuel the car at a fraction of the cost of petrol.

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