EV Charging Stations Opening Across the U.S.

EV Charging Station

As gas prices rise, more people are starting to purchase electric vehicles. The demand for EV charging stations has increased and some companies are taking advantage of that need. The number of EV charging stations in the U.S. are going up and some stores are opening them in their parking lots.

California has the most EV charging stations of any U.S. state with 1,276 of them. With 200 EV charging stations added in April alone across the states, there are now a total of 5,865 public stations. You might say, “Where are all these charging stations?” Well, municipalities and power companies are adding some here and there. You will most likely see these as carports with the ability to charge electric vehicles. Many times they are solar powered Solar Carportcarports that generate their own power for charging vehicles and energy for the town.

However, most of the charging stations come from private companies who are installing them at their businesses. Major corporations see the need for EV charging stations as an opportunity to lure more consumers to their stores. Walgreens, for instance, is the most prolific public charging station installer in the country with 364 units. They are far ahead of the second place company, Kohl’s, who have 57 charging stations. More and more companies are getting into the EV charging station game, with Kroger announcing that they will install around 225 stations along the west coast.

It makes sense that companies would do this because by providing low-cost or free electricity for shoppers with EVs is a very tempting incentive. The popularity of EVs has increased tremendously over the past 5 years, so if you have not seen any charging stations in your town yet, you should soon!

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Using Carports to Maximize Space and Save Money

Aside from being incredibly useful for storing your vehicle, carports are also an excellent way to protect your vehicles from harsh weather conditions.  This is a particularly effective means of storing oddly-shaped vehicles, motorcycles and other utilities (i.e. lawnmower), even during the worst, coldest day of winter. For example, if you restore old hot rods and have run out of room to store all of your finished vehicles, you could put a carport in your backyard or right next to your existing garage – that way you could easily move the car back and forth if further work was needed.

Carports are extremely useful for those who reside in small houses or even mobile homes, providing an area to store vehicles without taking up too much space.  People who live in trailer parks don’t usually get too much space, so carports are an exceptional way to store any kind of vehicle or machine that needs to be protected from the weather, damage or other such circumstance.

Putting in carports instead of building onto existing garages, homes or other structures can save thousands of dollars.  Conservative estimates place the cost of building a brand-new two-car garage in the area of $12,000 to $20,000 dollars.  Depending on your personal carport needs, this cost can be reduced in a huge way, with carports costing literally thousands of dollars less than the price you would pay to have a garage put onto your property.

Even if you have plenty of garage space at your home, a carport can be an effective means to store vehicles, so that you can utilize your garage as a workshop during major home renovation or other such project.  You won’t have to fumble around various vehicles and other materials during your work – the cars and vehicles that would normally be in your way will be safely stored away from the harsh elements that can cause severe damage.  If you need more space around your home or need a way to store your vehicle in a cost-effective manner, then a carport might be the right option for you.

Companies Going Green With Solar Carports

Since we previously wrote about solar carports in this blog, there has been a serious increase in interest in this technology. The abundant amount of free and clean energy generated by these carports has proven to be essential to the development of electric cars and hybrids. Recently, a slew of attention has been heaped onto companies supporting the construction of these energy-generating carports all over the country and the world.

This article talks about the adoption of solar carports at Kyocera Corporation in Japan, which was fitted with solar carports by Envision Solar, a nationwide developer of these types of carports. On the other side of the globe, the New York Institute of Technology just received an award for adding solar carports to their campuses all over New York, staring with Central Islip campus and continuing with Old Westbury campus as well. According to the article, these types of photovoltaic panel-covered carports could be commercially successful on a large-scale, national and international level, particularly as car technology moves towards fully-electric driven vehicles. The success of other companies’ adoption of solar carports has driven a massive increase in these types of projects – one example is seen at Cathay Bank in California, who just signed a large contract with PermaCity Solar to develop carports for its corporate center.

Green technology is a hot topic and solar carports are part of the new school of sustainable energy systems. As electric cars begin to be developed and introduced to the world, there will be a need for massive sustainable energy development – the reliance on coal and other emissive energy sources will need to change to continue the progress of green technology represented by electric powered cars. Solar carports will prove to be an excellent source of this kind of energy.

Permits are a Necessity for Carports

Have you ever considered what goes into setting up a carport on your property? Purchasing the shelter is only part of the picture. Many cities and towns consider adding a carport, portable garage, or shed-like building to be the addition of a new structure – even if you don’t set it in the ground. Because of this, a permit often needs to be obtained before the structure is erected. We’ve discussed a few times on this blog in regards to local ordinances for such structures, and, while these need to be consulted before you purchase a carport or similar structure, securing a permit is the next step before the shelter is put into the ground.

A recent article discusses which types of shelters need permits. Shelters, like carports, aren’t the only outdoor projects needing permits, however. As the linked article above explains, nearly all outdoor projects and additions require a permit. This includes adding a fence, shed, patios, porches, carports, and any accessory structures. Additionally, many interior home improvements, such as remodeling or adding a hot water heater, require permits, too. The only exception to this is a playhouse, but every open or enclosed structure added to the back, front, or side of your home needs a permit before being added.

Obtaining a permit isn’t difficult. As the article explains, you need to present your plans for the shelter or other improvements and to pay a small fee. The fee, however, can vary, if it is needed. In the towns used for the article, local laws specify that structures covering an area less than 120 square feet do not need a permit. For your carport, this would be a 12 x 10 square foot building. Structures larger than this may need to pay $50 dollars or more. Not paying a permit will result in a doubled fee.

Carports a Newly Popular Item

Are carports “cool” again? While trends in storage don’t change at the speed of fashion, certain structures have their heyday. While carports and other portable garage structures have been in use since the 1930s, the present is seeing resurgence in their use. Why now and not a decade before? Trends don’t always have an explanation, although a recent article gives some insight into their recent popularity with suburban homeowners. Mainly, as garages become more than a place to store cars and, instead, a place for lounging and activities, the cars are moved outside but they still need shelter.

As the article above explains, carports aren’t entirely replacing traditional garages in the suburbs and, instead, are more of a supplement. New homeowners in the suburbs, particularly those who have arrived from the city, see the potential the brick-and-mortar garage space offers not only for storage purposes but also as a lounge area – consider it a secondary living room – and activity or work space. The one or two cars inside end up being an impediment and, instead, are put outside. Rather than let the sun, water, and birds damage them, a carport is put over a vehicle. Additionally, those looking to move storage out of the brick-and-mortar garage may set up a separate enclosed shed, as well.

Carports, of course, are one of the most efficient structures for covering a vehicle and for storage. No matter if you use a fully metal or metal and polyethylene structure, the roof and sturdy sides keep out UV rays and moisture. Additionally, such a structure can be converted into one that gives full coverage by adding side walls and zipper doors. This way, seasonal vehicles, such as boats or RVs, will receive full protection inside, as will any other items inside the structure.

More About Carports and Snow

Over the past two months, many Southern states have been experiencing unusual amounts of snowfalls. And, as a result, one common occurrence has been carports in these states collapsing from the amount of ice and snow accumulating on top. Two recent news stories regarding carports and snow in Little Rock, Arkansas, pose the question, “Is it an old carport or is it the owner’s fault?” In all instances, the resulting collapse may be a combination of these two. Owners need to realize the carport should be fixed, especially when snow is approaching, and the carport itself, over time, may naturally fall into a state of disrepair.

In one instance, a woman looked outside her home to find the metal beams of her carport twisted. Although the condition of her carport isn’t mentioned in the article, it can be assumed that the carport wasn’t in an ideal condition, particularly because the roof of the structure collapsed onto her vehicles. Nevertheless, snowfalls causing carports to collapse often mean the structure itself wasn’t anchored properly – this can cause it to not withstand 50 pounds of snow on the roof – or the structure was simply too old.

On the other hand, when multiple cars are protected by a carport, the structure should be sturdy. At an apartment complex also in Little Rock, a carport collapsed onto 45 cars. Most of these were damaged as a result, and those who own the building aren’t claiming responsibility. Others, according to the article, claim this large structure was “unsound.” In any case, snow should always be cleaned off a carport, particularly when a structure can only support about fifty pounds of it. Ice, additionally, compounds to the weight the structure may experience. Regardless of the state of the carport, the responsibility of cleaning it and preventing snow damage is up to those who own the property.

All the Benefits of a Carport

A recent article praises the benefits for carports. And, really, it’s about time that such structures are praised in the media. While various types of portable shelters exist, carports are some of the most requested, particularly for everyday use. If you own a carport, be it a fully metal model or a metal and polyethylene structure, you’re probably aware of all the benefits, particularly when it comes to protecting your car from UV rays and snow. Of course, most of these protective properties really only work when the carport is properly anchored. Anyone who owns a carport knows that all models need to be anchored in the dirt or in concrete.

Regardless of whether you get a rounded roof or peaked carport, anchorage is important for it to withstand heavy snowfalls and strong winds. In the case that a carport isn’t properly anchored — and this is seen nearly any time a snowfall or winds hit an area of the South or Southwest — the roof of the structure collapses or the frame may topple over, exposing the vehicle or, worse, falling on top of it and causing damage. In all cases, the legs of a carport should be set in concrete or attached to some kind of metal anchor on a dirt surface.

Aside from anchoring these structures, the frame is what keeps a carport protective and effective. Each one, regardless of type, is made from galvanized steel. Roofs on fully metal carports are also made from this material and then coated with silicon. Polyethylene carports, on the other hand, have a canopy in addition to the metal frame, and this material is treated to be UV resistant and waterproof, as well as mold and mildew proof inside and out. In all instances a carport is used, the structure protects the vehicle from any snowfalls, water damage, and damage due to UV rays.