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MINI unveils revolutionary new solar-powered EV charging station — here's what makes it the 'first' of its kind

A solar charging station adds another layer of cost savings.

MIN unveils solar power EV charging station

Photo Credit: Getty Images

BMW's popular car brand MINI has teamed up with Red Bull in Cape Town, South Africa, to create a revolutionary electric-vehicle (EV) charging station that runs on solar power, CleanTechnica reported.

MINI has been making an ongoing effort to become more eco-friendly, according to CleanTechnica. The brand has committed to offering only electric vehicles by 2030 and has announced three new electric models, including the new MINI Cooper Electric.

MINI unveiled the Cape Town charging station in March at a launch ceremony, together with representatives from Red Bull, the city, and the waterfront. CleanTechnica said that this could be the first of many similar stations around South Africa, perhaps at university campuses where MINI's affordable EVs are popular.

A solar charging station adds another layer of cost savings and eco-friendliness to the brand's approach. Solar power is virtually free to produce once panels are installed. And driving an electric car is cheaper than one that runs on gas, both in fuel and maintenance costs

Meanwhile, EV engines are usually quieter than traditional ones and produce no polluting output while running, leading to cleaner, more pleasant roads and less heat-trapping gas warming the planet.

The new charging station's clever design includes two Type 2 9kW connectors, CleanTechnica reported. The solar panels overhead form a canopy to protect cars and users from the heat while they charge. CleanTechnica did not say whether the design includes a battery to store energy and offer charging at night, but this is a common feature of solar energy systems.

"True to MINI's optimistic attitude to life, we are driven by the potential of creative ways to play our part to protect the planet," Shaun Willis, head of MINI South Africa, told CleanTechnica.

"With the first stand-alone public solar charging unit in Cape Town, together with Red Bull, we are showing our commitment to sustainable energy solutions."

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