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Company May Have Solved Inner-City EV Charging Problem Using Streetlamps

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So here’s an interesting development.

A company named Ubitricity has created a system that retrofits streetlights with electric vehicle charging ports, allowing EV charging while parked on the street nearby.


Ubitricity street lamp charging

Photo: Ubitricity

Basically, this works by the driver contacting Ubitricity, who sends them a charging cable, which they can then plug into the lamppost and to their car, where it locks into place. The charging cable contains a computational unit that transmits the driver’s information, the amount of charging done, and the specific charger to Ubitricity, who then bill the electricity used to the driver.

This system is marketed as an especially good solution, particularly for areas without much budget for new infrastructure or a desire to preserve the look of the area, such as in older London neighborhoods where heritage light posts dominate the streetside.

The idea is that the powers would be used more for overnight or other hours-long charging needs, since the outlet isn’t made for DC fast-charging.


Ubitricity street lamp charging

Photo: Ubitricity

All of this is a little exciting, as it could, at least partially, address one of the so far unmatchable anti-electric-vehicle arguments, which is that they could not possibly work for apartment dwellers or other that need to park on the street. Using this system, a city government looking to update its electricity usage through upgraded streetlights could also boost its electric vehicle charging infrastructure by having the new lights outfitted with these plugs.

Unfortunately for we poor Americans, Ubitricity is a Germany-based company that only just spread its system to locations in the United Kingdom. With a little luck, though, a similar system will find its way onto the streets on our side of the pond sometime soon.

News Sources: Green Car Reports, Ubitricity