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Solar Fun Carts at The Houston Zoo

| Electric Golf Carts, Solar Power | April 2, 2013

Solar Fun Carts Houston Zoo

The final golf carts of The Houston Zoo's fleet are converted to solar charging. Photo: Adrienne Raquel

The Houston Zoo has finished fitting solar panels to all of its fleet of golf carts. In recent years the industry has seen development of alternative power, such as hydrogen fuel cells ,wind power and low-cost solar panels as a way of saving running costs and reducing environmental impact.

The Houston Zoo’s project to outfit their fleet of electric vehicles started in 2010 with a $50,000 donation from NRG Energy and Reliant. A second grant of $50,000 from the two companies allowed the zoo to complete project and fit solar power charging to the 18 remaining electric vehicles and carts.

The two 8 seater limo golf carts in the photo above are used to ferry some of their 1.84 million annual visitors around to see the zoo’s 6,000 animal residents. Both “Solar Fun Carts” feature animal themed paint, one with peacock feathers and the other with a snakeskin pattern which lets them blend in with the animals.

Connecting Batteries Solar Fun Carts Houston Zoo

Connecting the batteries that will be charged by the cart's new solar panel. Photo: Adrienne Raquel

The golf cart solar panels were fitted the zoo’s staff, assisted by NRG and Reliant volunteers, and feature battery charge displays inside the cabin.

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