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Reproducing in front of our eyes are solar-powered parking meters in New York City, requiring only ambient light to charge up their trusty old-school non-exploding sealed lead acid batteries inside. What better application of solar energy than a parking meter? But then, didn't parking meters work well enough as mechanical devices before?

Well, these are "Muni-Meters," doing their stuff all electronic-like. Maybe that's important for the largest operator of street parking facilities in the United States, New York City, with its 110,000 parking spaces. We're just looking forward to the day when you can use credit cards with parking meters, something the city is currently evaluating with 200 machines in Manhattan. Solar credit-card-using parking meters? Bring it on, coast-to-coast. Either that or make parking free everywhere.

Seen In New York: Solar Powered Parking Meters [treehugger]