North Carolina Green Business Fund
Brightfield™ Transportation Solutions (formally known as BioWheels RTS) was awarded funds from the North Carolina Green Business Fund to leverage the strength of community to design and deploy durable and intelligent solar-power integrated electric vehicle charging infrastructure. The goal of this Project was to create the infrastructure necessary for consumers to engage in a truly sustainable transportation alternative—solar fueled electric vehicles—and to help build local EV market capacity through proof of concept, partnership building, education and community awareness raising.
1. Product development and deployment: Locally designed and installed 4 publically accessible Brightfield™ Charging Stations each equipped with smart-grid compatible EV chargers and integrated grid-tied solar arrays. Three of the installations were installed on municipal and state-owned property through public private partnerships with Asheville City, Buncombe County and North Carolina on the campus of UNC at Asheville. These innovative Brightfield™ Charging Stations demonstrated that EVs can be fueled with renewable solar energy. Each Brightfield™ supported 24 local jobs, and combined were equipped with 10 EV chargers and produced 15 KW of solar capacity that equals 90,000 vehicle miles of solar fuel. Patents are pending to protect multiple intellectual properties that resulted from Brightfield™ deployment.
2. Partnership building, website, outreach and public service announcement campaign:
- Created strong AIMS Partnerships (Advocacy, Infrastructure, Market Development, Financial Support) with municipalities, policy makers, local businesses, EV infrastructure suppliers, utilities, economic development groups, service providers and additional stakeholders (see list below)
- Build a vibrant website focused on community awareness-raising regarding the viability of EVs, EV charging infrastructure and BTS’ Solar Driven™ vision.
- Conducted a ribbon cutting/press event to communicate the Solar Driven™ vision to the region.
- Installed educational displays at Brightfield TS to convey the rationale, value and viability of solar fueled EVs as a sustainable, secure and community enhancing transportation solution.
- Produced 3 public service announcements to showcase the viability and desirability of EV transportation fueled with sunshine harvested locally at charging stations made in Asheville.
In addition to these achievements, the success of the Project positions the Asheville Metro area for EV market development success. The region now has innovative proof of concept, EV infrastructure experienced contractors, city and county inspectors, permit office, utility and city/county managers, and an increasingly aware citizenry more confident to purchase EVs. Additionally, Brightfield TS has established an economically viable model to prepare communities for EV ownership that is based on leveraging community strengths, building effective community partnerships, identifying strategic EV infrastructure locations, and integrating renewable energy production. Going forward the Brightfield TS EV readiness model and Solar Driven™ vision will create jobs and sustainable economic development while providing an environmentally responsible transportation solution—all created here in North Carolina.
Brightfield TS NCGBF Partners:
Clean Cities Coalition
Blue RidgeCommunity College
AshevilleCityEconomic Development Office
Asheville City Manager’s Office
Asheville Mayor’s Office
BuncombeCountyBoard of Commissioners
US Congressman Heath Shuler
US Senator Kay Hagan
NC State Senator Martin Nesbit
NC Representative Susan Fisher
NC Representative Patsy Keever
North CarolinaSolar Center
Law Office of Marjorie Maginnis
Clean Vehicles Coalition
NC Green Power
Sundance Power Systems
Southeast Ecological Design
Essential Systems Engineering
EH Product Development, Inc
Market Development Partners
Evolve Energy Partnership
Land or Sky Regional Council