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Simon Says ‘Charge Your EV At The Mall’ – Forbes

Last week, Simon Property Group cut the ribbon on an integrated advanced electric vehicle charging station at its Clay Terrace property, a ‘lifestyle center’ shopping destination in Carmel, Indiana. This project is the first of its kind in the nation, combining renewable energy, battery storage, and charging stations for electric vehicles. The facility combines 10 kW of solar panels on an overhead carport with space for four vehicles, with a 75 kilowatt (42 kWh) lithium ion battery (no – not the one used in the 787) tied to a transformer. Drivers have the choice of charging their vehicles at one of two Level 2 (just over 6 kW) charging stations, or a Level 3 (50 kW) charger.
The project is also supported by Duke Energy, Toshiba Corporation, ITOCHU Corporation, Tom Wood Automotive Group, and Indiana’s clean tech EnergySystems Network (ESN).
I had a chance to speak with George Caraghiaur, SVP of Sustainability at Simon Property Group to find out a little more about the what and why of this project. In particular, I wanted to know why Simon Property Group was getting involved with electric vehicles (which would add them to retailer Walgreens, with its 400-plus chargers at stores around the country), and what they and the other parties hoped to accomplish with this investment. I found out a good deal about what the world of electric vehicles (EVs) looks like at the ground level.
Not surprisingly, Caraghiaur focused on Simon’s mission: “as a company, our role is to cater to tenants and shoppers. Our shoppers want vehicle chargers; we want happy shoppers. You can’t get the vehicles without the chargers. And you don’t need the chargers if you don’t have the vehicles. There is no doubt that the infrastructure is critical. I remember reading a quote from customers complaining about this issue saying ‘ we want to have the infrastructure to charge our vehicles.’ It was from 1911. So it’s the same problem today.“


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