When you purchase an electric car, you need to charge the battery, like ICE car owners fill the tank with gas. However, for some potential EV owners that do not have off-street parking, it may be impossible to install their own home charging stations. This is enough to put the drivers off electric vehicles, despite their many benefits. If you are in this situation, a new method may work for you, street lamp charging!
How does street lamp charging work? Is it feasible? Continue reading this article to find out.
How does street lamp charging work?
Street lamps are ubiquitous, as you find them on most streets. Installed and maintained by city authorities, their primary function is to provide illumination during the dark for the safety and security of road users. However, they have other uses, like giving directions and serving as markers.
With the advent of electric vehicles and the increasing need for charging points, street lamps may have found other uses. Some EV owners park out on the street, and there are no charging cables long enough to reach their cars from their apartment. However, there is almost always a lamp post nearby, meaning the presence of electricity.
It is smart to tap electricity from these street lamps to charge EVs. By parking close to one, EV owners can charge their cars without parking in their own garage. So, basically, any city with a well-maintained network of street lamps is well on its way to establishing an EV charging infrastructure for its citizens.
Even in non-residential areas, tapping power from street lamps is a smart way to provide public charging opportunities without making potentially expensive changes to existing infrastructure.
However, is the idea a workable one?
Is street lamp charging feasible?
To implement street lamp charging, two things must be considered; whether the street lamp will supply enough power to charge a car and sorting out payment for the electricity consumed.
Fortunately, there is a real-life implementation of street lamp charging that we can reference. Siemens and ubitricity have collaborated on converting 1,400 street lamps to charging points in London. On an 800 meter portion of Sutherland Avenue, 24 street lamps can now charge EVs, earning the road the nickname Electric Avenue.
Siemens says the conversion takes less than an hour to add a charging point to a street lamp, far faster and cheaper than installing a separate charging station.
Each street lamp can charge at 5.5 kW, meaning an EV with a 54 kWh battery needs 10 hours to charge fully.
Drivers can access the chargers with or without a subscription.
With the federal government committed to spending billions of dollars on building out EV charging infrastructure throughout the country, street lamp charging is low-hanging fruit.
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