The zoo adds solar-powered EV chargers to its parking lot

Visitors to the Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden now have the ability to power their electric vehicles using the energy captured by the zoo’s solar arrays in its parking lot.

The zoo has installed four dual-port chargers — which will be available to its passholders and guests — numbering about 57,000 a year.

“This new equipment provides us with yet another opportunity to educate the general public about renewable energy initiatives, and how they can get involved,” says Mark Fisher, Cincinnati Zoo vice president of facilities and sustainability.
The zoo is working with Cincinnati-based electric mobility company Electrada to make the service available. Electrada invests in and operates EV charging infrastructure, offering it as a turnkey service to its host sites.

Electrada uses technology from AddEnergie, a leading North American network and technology provider based in Quebec City, Canada, and its Flo electric vehicle charging smartphone app.  Drivers can charge their vehicles by using the app and can also do so by using an existing customer account on the ChargePoint app, the zoo says.

The app makes it possible to find charging stations, get real-time updates about their status, and to pay for charging sessions.

“We are proud to be working with the zoo to create a more inclusive community, where clean and affordable mobility solutions are available for all,” says Kevin Kushman, CEO of Electrada.

When it opened in 2011, the zoo’s 1.56 megawatt solar canopy was called the largest publicly accessible urban solar array in the country. Located in the zoo’s Vine Street parking lot, 6,400 solar panels convert sunlight into usable clean energy, and produce a significant percentage of the Zoo’s needed energy.

Electrada was launched in Cincinnati in 2020 to meet the growing demand for electric vehicle charging infrastructure.
Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is an award-winning journalist and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading, or watching classic movies.