Ann Arbor Electric, Solar Product Developer Launches Mobile Solar Charging Station


Current Motor, an Ann Arbor-based developer of fleets of electric motorcycles with a solar-powered charging station, now offers a mobile solar nanogrid that’s portable and can be used for a variety of charging needs.

The company first unveiled its fleet of four electric cargo motorcycles with the charging station more than a year ago, selling the product to mining, manufacturing, and construction companies in Brazil and China. Soon after, Lauren Flanagan, executive chair of Current Motor, says the company was approached by government agencies and other companies about using the charging station for other purposes.

“We can add a lot of other options to it so that you can pretty much charge anything you want from an electric car, to a mini medical clinic, or a clean water (treatment system),” Flanagan says. “It’s really a platform that you can put almost anything in it so you can buy it as is, or we can work with partners to put in specific solutions, just like we did with our mini fleet.”

The product, launched this year, will first be made into a water treatment solution with an unnamed partner, scheduled to be unveiled in the next few months. Flanagan says the product could be used to make a nanogrid compound that could offer a water treatment solution, medical station, solar charging, and electric motorcycles in remote areas.

“That’s a big increase in the way we view the company because there are an unlimited number of solutions that we could put inside the solar nanogrid,” Flanagan says. “Our next challenge is finding solutions partners that want to work with us so we can offer a lot of these solutions in tandem, and then working with channel partners around the world who want to help us sell them.”

The 20-foot solar charging station for the motorcycle mini-fleet has 22 kilowatt-hour storage and a solar panel array capable of generating 2.4 kilowatts of renewable energy over 24 hours. The four motorcycles can be fully charged in five hours.

On Tuesday, the 12-employee company will compete in the sixth annual Clean Energy Trust Challenge in Chicago, one of the largest clean technology single-day pitch competitions in the nation. The winning company receives $1 million in funding.