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BMW reveals street light charging system for electric vehicles

BMW has announced it will begin the world’s first trial of a street light charging system for electric vehicles that seems to get around the need for dedicated charging stations.

WITH MORE AND more makers offering all-electric vehicles and the number of plug-in petrol-electric hybrid vehicles also on the rise, range anxiety might fast become a thing of the past. BWM announced on Friday that it will run a pilot project in Munich in 2015 that will see street lights fitted with sockets charge electric cars.

Using the local authority lighting network, BMW said it has developed two prototype ‘Light and Charge’ street lights which combine ‘efficient’ Light Emitting Diodes (LED) with the company’s ChargeNow recharging stations for electric cars. The technology can be retro-fitted to existing street lights.

“Seamless charging infrastructure is essential if we want to see more electric vehicles on the road in our cities in the future,” Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said.

These additional charging stations can be used by as many drivers as possible, regardless of vehicle model and electricity provider, BMW said in a statement. BMW has already installed two such charging street lights outside of its own headquarters, allowing drivers to charge their electric vehicle – they pay to charge their cars via a smartphone app.

This follows BMW’s development of inductive charging systems which would remove the need for chords and wires altogether. The company has already signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Daimler and also Tesla to look at ways of making an inductive charging system work not just with its own cars, but with all makes of electric vehicle

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Isaac Bober

Isaac Bober