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Solar pavers create car-charging green sidewalks

Budapest-based Platio has installed solar pavers on a sidewalk in a charging station for electric cars

Section of solar panels integrated into sidewalk by a row of parked white vans and a charging station.
The 50-square-foot swath powers the charging station for electric cars.

Solar roadways are quickly becoming the way of the future, with photovoltaic pavers popping up everywhere, from Georgia to France to the Netherlands. Now Hungary has gotten in on the action, thanks to energy startup Platio, which recently installed a swath of solar panels into a sidewalk in Budapest.

Measuring 4.7 square meters, or about 50 square feet, the 720 Wp system of Platio Solar Pavers is made up of 40 units and is located at a charging station for electric vehicles on the campus of real estate company Prologis. The solar sidewalk supplies green energy to the charging station during the day, but when the station is empty, the power is rerouted to a nearby building.

The solar pavers are nearly completely integrated into the environment, causing no disruptions to the way people use sidewalks. In a statement, Platio developers said that they hoped “to demonstrate that by turning energy absorbing paved areas into huge walkable solar arrays, energy production can be achieved at a large scale without taking up useful space or altering the cityscape.”

This kind of integration makes it easy—and more environmentally friendly—to fuel electric vehicles, and whatever else needs electricity.