With federal contract to install charging stations, Florida firm has it made in the shade

Apollo Sunguard Systems of Sarasota, Florida has won a contract to supply 183 EV charging stations at federal government buildings across the country. Apollo, which outbid five competitors for the job, will serve as distributor for the ChargePoint dual Level 2 charging stations.

“We got the greatest Christmas present going,” says Apollo President Kevin Connelly. “They let us know this is a highly visible project.”

The contract, which is valued at around $900,000, is surely welcome. However, Connelly’s long-term goal is to get a foot in the door for his main business – manufacturing cloth shade structures. He sees a natural affinity between his shade panels, which are used at local playgrounds, parks and a baseball stadium, and parked EVs.

“We had tried to promote shaded parking in Florida for years, with little success,” although studies in Brazil and Mexico have shown that customers stay longer and spend more when they can park in the shade. Savvy EV owners can easily see the value of a shaded parking/charging spot in Florida’s broiling sun. “When you shade a charging station and a vehicle, it charges 15 minutes faster and uses 2 kilowatts less power,” says Connelly.


Source: Sarasota Herald-Tribune
Image: Apollo Sunguard

  • Jay Donnaway

    Seems a crying shame to not top that sunshade with PV.

    • Benjamin Nead

      I completely agree, Jay. Perhaps the curved roof design on this one doesn’t lend itself to conventional flat PV panels. I’d rather have a flat slanted roof angled due south with the ability to process sunshine into electricity in addition to shading the car.

      Also . . . perhaps not so much an issue in humid Florida, it would be nice to start seeing rainwater harvesting collection infrastructure on these solar carports, especially ones built in the super dry climates of the southwest US.