The Polestar 1’s European test drive at Villa Cora, Florence, (11 Nov – 22 Nov) was powered by renewable energy from a green hydrogen fuel cell system provided by GeoPura and Siemens.
Renewable Energy company, GeoPura, and Siemens installed a fuel cell system in the grounds of the fabulous Villa Cora to produce electricity to charge the Polestar 1. The beautiful venue, with its architectural importance and unrivaled location overlooking the city of Florence, has one thing in common with many hotels around the globe, it doesn’t have the spare electrical network capacity required to power a bank of rapid EV chargers.
Off-grid energy for events is usually provided exclusively by large diesel generators. Siemens and GeoPura are delighted to have provided power for the event’s 10 fast chargers and 2 rapid chargers using a system that doesn’t produce any harmful emissions or burn fossil fuel.
Jonathan Goodman, Chief Operating Officer at Polestar said: “We are launching an electric vehicle brand, it’s our first car and to have the opportunity to generate sustainable energy on-site was the perfect match for us.
“We had wonderful roads in Florence, but virtually no EV infrastructure at all so a big challenge for us was how we were going to charge our cars ready for journalists to drive. We got the perfect solution with GeoPura and Siemens.”
GeoPura’s Managing Director, Andrew Cunningham, added: “We were delighted to work with our partners Siemens to support the Polestar 1 test drive. This is an important capability because it’s very unlikely that the world’s electricity distribution networks will be able to provide all the electrical energy that we’ll soon need.
“If we’re going to limit the effects of climate change we must decarbonise. Part of the solution will be to electrify our heating and transportation, whilst switching energy generation away from fossil fuels to renewable sources. The elegant beauty around us at Villa Cora reminded us that we need magnificent electric vehicles such as the Polestar 1 and we all need to seize the opportunity to enjoy a clean environment by using clean, renewable energy to charge these vehicles.”
GeoPura and Siemens showcased this world-first end to end commercial proposition at the Goodwood Festival of Speed earlier this year. As the technology partner for the festival, Siemens enlisted GeoPura to help power a section of the Festival with 100% emissions-free, off-grid electricity using green hydrogen. This included charging the super-power EV cars in the First Glance Paddock which ultimately led to the first emissions-free iconic Goodwood Hill Climb. The Polestar 1 verification prototype which ran up the hill during the Festival, made use of this sustainable energy for all its charging needs.
Carl Ennis, CEO Siemens plc and MD Siemens Smart Infrastructure, UK added: “We were delighted to provide Polestar with a green hydrogen fuel cell system and Siemens chargers to charge their new Polestar 1 at their test event. As the venue didn’t have a large grid connection to supply electricity to recharge the vehicles, they would have previously needed to entirely rely on a diesel generator, which goes against the very reason for developing an electric vehicle.
“This is why we developed the fuel cell system, to showcase the art of the possible for clean and green off-grid power for charging electric vehicles. The fact that, only four months after showcasing it at the Goodwood Festival of Speed, we had the world’s first commercial project for it, shows just how important this is.”
The GeoPura model uses renewable energy, namely solar or wind, to create a hydrogen-based fuel at sites throughout the UK. This fuel is then transported using emissions-free road tankers and delivered to locations where a local generator converts it to electricity. This can help power off-grid events or provide additional capacity to meet high demands. From start to finish it’s 100% carbon and emissions-free – the only by-product is water and air – and it operates independently from the electricity network.