Tags:FROM BIOWHEELS RTS (full release)
Work on Asheville’s first electric vehicle charging station is nearly complete at the Asheville City Public Works Building parking lot on the corner of Charlotte and Eagle streets, preparing the region for electric vehicle ownership. Following a formal ribbon cutting ceremony on December 12, the charging station will be open to the public.
This Brightfield™ electric vehicle charging station is the first of four solar power generating stations to be installed throughout Asheville. The station will generate five kilowatts of solar energy annually and will be equipped with three electric vehicle chargers. Additional stations are sited for Land of Sky Regional Council off Leicester Highway, the Reuter Center on the UNC Asheville campus and at the BioWheels store on Coxe Avenue.
Earlier this year, BioWheels RTS, a local renewable energy and alternative transportation company, was awarded a grant from the North Carolina Green Business Fund, a fund established by the state to encourage green sector growth. The young start-up has forged public-private partnerships with the City of Asheville, Buncombe County and UNCA to bring the Brightfield™ charging stations to market, illustrating how western North Carolina is becoming a hub for the clean energy industry, creating quality jobs and strengthening communities.
“Our vision is to build strong community partnerships to get the infrastructure on the ground that will prepare our region for electric vehicle ownership,” said Matt Johnson, president of BioWheels RTS and owner of the local BioWheels cycling shop. “And, we’re determined to show that we can fuel electric vehicles with solar power. When we harvest our fuel locally from sun, our fuel dollars stay in the local economy.”
Candler-based Balls Machine and Manufacturing Company is building the structural components for the innovative Brightfields™. “If western North Carolina is going to keep its manufacturing tradition alive, then it needs to adapt. By supporting and growing our renewable energy and alternative transportation sectors, I can provide more jobs in my machine shop,” said Gary Ball of Balls Machine and Manufacturing Company.
“We’re challenging people to think beyond coal and nuclear energy and seize the very real opportunity to drive on the sun’s energy, renewable energy,” continued Johnson. “These five kilowatt installations are just the beginning. We’ve determined how many megawatts of solar power we need to generate to meet North Carolina’s forecasted electric vehicle demand, and we’re working state-wide with the renewable energy sector and utility companies to get that renewable energy on the grid.”
BioWheels RTS is an example of what Matt Raker, vice president of entrepreneurship and AdvantageGreen at economic development group AdvantageWest, is working hard to foster in western North Carolina.
“The way BioWheels RTS identified a new clean energy business opportunity and partnered with regional manufacturers and other resources to bring their product to market is a perfect example of how this region is playing a pivotal role in the clean energy industry,” said Raker. “These are the types of companies that have the potential to create quality jobs for decades to come and the reason the region has formed the EvolveEnergy Partnership.”
“Everything BioWheels RTS does is about building a more durable and resilient WNC,” said Johnson. “We’re fortunate to have so many talented people here in our community willing and able to roll up their sleeves and get to work creating a desirable future today.” Read the full article