December 19, 2023

While the demand for electric vehicles (EVs) has grown exponentially in recent years, the infrastructure needed to power them is struggling to keep up. Not only do new charging stations take an average of 6-18 months to implement, but grid connection can also be a real challenge as local utility companies must often update their systems to deliver the power needed for charging EVs, especially fleets of large trucks. Regardless of how eager companies are to get their clean fuel trucks on the road, without interim solutions, many have to wait increasing amounts of time for grid power.

Microturbines Answer the Charge

To bridge the EV infrastructure gap, Capstone Green Energy and Capstone Engineered Solutions  have developed mobile and stationary microturbine-based solutions for standalone EV charging. Fueled by renewable natural gas (RNG), this on-demand charging system can be trailer-mounted or ground mounted. It features a microturbine, a level 3 DC fast charger, level 2 chargers, or a combination of both, capable of generating anywhere from 65KW multiple megawatts of power.

It’s an exciting and innovative way to help companies get their cars, vans, or trucks on the road quickly while the local utility makes the required expansions to meet EV charging needs.

For businesses interested in greater energy independence and long-term cost savings, the solutions can also provide permanent charging power, either standalone or grid-connected, as part of a resiliency program to cover a period of demand reduction, price spikes, or grid outages.

Mobile Charging Stations in Action

In recent years, Capstone and Capstone Engineered Solutions have supported the charging needs across many segments, partnering with commercial EV service providers, government entities, vehicle OEMs, building owners, public charging stations, stadiums, and more.

We recently worked with Prologis Mobility to install the company’s first OnDemand Charging microturbine at a Prologis facility in Torrance, California. Leased by global sports company PUMA, the mobile station can generate 180 kilowatts of power.

An Ideal, Environmental and Cost-effective Solution

Microturbines are cost-effective and versatile, making them an ideal solution for charging electric vehicles. Not only does OnDemand Charging enable rapid deployment for EV charging, it’s also an outstanding solution for short-term job sites or as a backup source if the grid goes down.

Beyond mobile flexibility and rapid deployment, microturbines offer an impressive list of both environmental and operational benefits. In addition to RNG, they can run off a wide range of fuels including natural gas, CNG, or LNG. Microturbines are low-emissions and deliver a very flexible solution that can be matched to meet customers’ evolving needs. Because they have only a single moving part, microturbines have minimal maintenance, are quiet and easy to operate, and have a small footprint. No other energy generating source can match that range of versatile features.

“While new tech is often an evolution over time, the electric vehicle market has seen a revolution with rapid adoption driven by climate change concerns,” said Jim Crouse, President at Capstone Engineered Solutions. “Capstone’s microturbine technology is already helping progress the transition to clean fuel fleets by providing fast, efficient energy generation wherever, whenever it’s needed.”

Interested in learning if microturbine-based energy systems are a good fit for your application? We’d love to hear from you.