Beam Global, the leading provider of innovative sustainable technology for electric vehicle (EV) charging, outdoor media and energy security, will conduct the world's first Flying on Sunshine flight in a Pipistrel production electric aircraft, powered completely by Beam's EV ARC solar-powered charging unit delivering off-grid, sustainably generated, locally stored energy. The world-first maiden flight will take place at Reedley Municipal Airport in Fresno County, California with local officials present and Pilot Joseph Oldham at the controls.
"The electrification of transportation is taking to the skies, powered by Beam Global. With 40% of greenhouse gas emissions coming from transportation in California, it's imperative to push the envelope in every form of mobility," said Beam Global CEO, Desmond Wheatley. "Whether it has two, four or 18 wheels, a propeller or four rotors, Beam is developing sustainable solutions to deliver clean mobility to all. An important differentiator for us is that our products can charge any form of transportation, enabling us to take advantage of growth across this massive but diverse sector."
This proof of concept test flight is the first step in Beam Global's larger initiative to bring clean mobility to this new sector of sustainable transportation.
"It's challenging to install charging infrastructure at regional airports," said Joseph Oldham, President and CEO for New Vision Aviation. "Flying on Sunshine using these rapidly deployed, transportable changing units works for us because it allows for rapid deployment of electric aircraft charging support concurrent with electric ground vehicles. It can turn regional local airports into multi-modal zero-emission transportation hubs and reinvigorate underutilized airports here in the San Joaquin Valley, across the state and across the U.S."
The Pipistrel electric aircraft are part of the Sustainable Aviation Project initiated by Oldham in partnership with the Cities of Reedley and Mendota and funded by Measure C through the Fresno County Transportation Authority (FCTA) New Technology Reserve Grant Program. The project is designed to open the door for aviation careers for local students in Fresno County by lowering the cost for flight training through the use of electric aircraft and developing a network of airports with chargers to support their operations. Measure C successfully leverages local dollars with other resources to deliver billions of dollars in local and regional transportation improvements to expand transit services, foster innovation and build trails, bike lanes and ADA facilities, while leading initiatives to better the air quality and bolster the local economy.
"The FCTA is excited to see state of the art opportunities available to our students in solar and electric power that will move us forward for future generations," said Supervisor and FCTA Chairman Buddy Mendes.
The EV ARC 2020 being used to power the Pipistrel plane is equipped with 2 Enel X JuiceBox® Pro EV chargers and one 15kW aircraft charger and is capable of charging two vehicles and one electric plane. 100% solar-powered EV ARC units are off-grid so require no permitting, no construction, no electrical work and generate no utility bill. Designed to fit in a standard parking space, without reducing available parking, the small footprint and construction-free deployment does not disrupt city or airport planning efforts and can be rapidly deployed. Beam Global EV charging products enable municipalities and states to build zero-emissions infrastructure that is rapidly scalable as charging needs evolve.
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