UK to Get ‘Solar Trees’ for Electric Car Charging

UK car parks and shopping malls are getting metal trees with a seven-meter solar panel canopy soon.

British startup SolarBotanic Trees designed the structures to charge electric vehicles (EVs) by capturing solar energy in nano photovoltaic “leaves”.

The company recently completed a half-scale device prototype and is now building and testing a full-size version before starting commercial production by the end of the year.

ZapMap, an EV mapping service, forecasted the establishment of more than 40,000 public charging points in the UK by April 2023, up 37% from 2022. The UK Climate Change Committee estimates that 325,000 charging points will be needed by 2032 to support EV charging needs.

SolarBotanic Trees CEO Chris Shelley stated that the EV charging infrastructure is insufficient in the UK. He added that the company has received its first order of 200 trees from the Raw Charging Group, an EV charging infrastructure supplier, which plans to use them in its UK and European charging site network.

Shelley says several companies sell solar-powered carports that cover parking spaces and look like ugly bus shelters with solar panels. He stated that solar trees, like those at Singapore’s Gardens by the Bay and Expo 2020 Dubai’s Sustainability Pavilion, will offer optimal form, and function.

SolarBotanic Trees cost between Rs. 6.2 million to Rs 8.6 million, which is much more than conventional solar panels. SolarBotanic states that these solar trees will be able to power up several charging points. Each point will be able to charge cars faster than the standard charging points.

Published by
Waleed Shah