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Light & Charge — BMW Shows Off New Combined Streetlight & EV Charging Station

A new, combined, state-of-the-art LED streetlight + electric vehicle (EV) charging station known as “Light & Charge” was recently demonstrated for the first time in the UK — following development and pilot testing by the BMW Group.

The new system was showcased by MINI Plant Oxford at the city’s recent Low Carbon Oxford Week.

bmw streetlight EV Charging

The crux of the idea is that, by combining the “already there” infrastructure of the common streetlight with the secondary function of an EV charging station, needed space can be minimized.

A recent press release provides more:

EV charging stations can be set up at any location where suitable parking is available, simply by replacing conventional street lights with Light & Charge systems.

With its modular LED design, the Light & Charge street light is much more energy-efficient than conventional street lighting and provides more effective illumination. It can be installed anywhere and its modular design can to be tailored to different locations. Up to four LED modules can be used to provide night-time lighting on main roads, while one or two modules are sufficient to provide lighting on side streets and in residential areas. As is already the case with vehicle headlights, LED technology allows more targeted light distribution with highly uni­form illumination to increase road safety and is optimised for minimum glare and light pollution. Through intelligent control electronics, the street light can adjust itself to its environment and yields energy savings by enabling the reduction of light output late at night and whenever no one is around.

The EV charging cable connects to a standard connector on the Light & Charge street light and the integrated control panel allows drivers to start charging with the swipe of a card regardless of vehicle model.

“Light & Charge is a simple and innovative solution which aims to integrate a charging station network into the urban landscape and this is essential if we want to see more electric vehicles on the road in our cities in the future. I’m delighted that the MINI plant is the first location in the UK to showcase BMW Group’s technological expertise not only in developing electric vehicles but also as part of a much wider commitment to electric mobility,” stated Frank Bachmann, Managing Director, MINI Plant Oxford.

Those with a keen eye will probably recognize that a somewhat similar system was revealed last year by the Germany-based company ubitricity. For more information on that, see: “ubitricity Can Cut EV Charging System Costs “90%”.

Image Credit: BMW

 
Written By

James Ayre's background is predominantly in geopolitics and history, but he has an obsessive interest in pretty much everything. After an early life spent in the Imperial Free City of Dortmund, James followed the river Ruhr to Cofbuokheim, where he attended the University of Astnide. And where he also briefly considered entering the coal mining business. He currently writes for a living, on a broad variety of subjects, ranging from science, to politics, to military history, to renewable energy. You can follow his work on Google+.

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