Our Green Zone Initiative makes available solar charging canopies at participating dealers to highlight the plug-in Chevy Volt. These canopies are provided to the dealers at no capital cost, and vehicle charging is supplied to the electric vehicle consumer at no cost.
"The beauty of this program is that there is no capital cost required from the dealership," said Dave Halvorson, president of American Chevrolet in Modesto, California. "Not only do we generate the solar energy to increase our reliance on renewable electricity, but the Green Zone is also a billboard of our commitment to the environment."
American Chevrolet in Modesto, California, and Al Serra Auto Plaza in Grand Blanc, Michigan, were the first two Chevrolet dealers to take advantage of this unique opportunity. Currently, GM dealerships have built, or are building, 14 solar canopies and nearly 50 additional dealerships have expressed interest in installing solar canopies.
There are currently four 240V chargers at the Al Serra Auto Plaza, which can be increased easily as demand grows. The canopies draw attention to the dealerships and serve as a great way to showcase the new Volt, which fully charges in about four hours on a 240V charger. Electric vehicle drivers are encouraged to stop by and charge their vehicles at no cost while shopping across the street. Serra uses empty parking spaces under the canopy to demonstrate the Volt to his customers
"The question isn't whether to install a solar canopy, it's where and how many," concludes Serra. "It's a win for us because the electricity generated will help reduce operating costs, and it's a win for the environment since solar power helps reduce our carbon footprint."
The solar canopies will generate enough electricity to fully charge 12 Chevy Volts per day, as well as electricity for the dealerships. "Just one of these canopies provides enough renewable energy to power two to three homes per year, or 10 to 20 percent of a dealership's energy consumption depending on the solar canopy size," said Chris Perry, vice president, Global Chevrolet Marketing and Strategy. "Collectively, that will be a lot of power not taken from the grid."