BMW unveils ‘Light and Charge’ streetlights that can charge electric cars

BMW Mini team unveils the prototype of their Light and Charge technology at the Low Carbon Oxford Week in UK.

Last year BMW announced their ‘Light and Charge’ project; however they showcased the first prototype of this new technology last week during an annual Low Carbon Oxford Week that was held in UK. During the event, BMW Mini team presented the prototype of their smart street light which are equipped with sockets which can directly charge an electric car.

Light and Charge smart street lights: 

Basically these the ‘Light and Charge’ street light comprises of a combined effect of Light Emitting Diodes (LED) and BMW’s ChargeNow recharging stations which can be connected to the city’s main electric supply. This assembly can then be installed along the sides of any any highway or major roads.

In the current scenario, a person owning an electric car has only two options to charge it. One option is plugging in at home and another is to connect to a public charging station which is an issue for now as there are not enough public terminals available along the major roads.

BMW has thus come up with its Light and Charge street lights which would not only provide numerous charging stations but also easy access to the drivers. In fact, this technology can help electric car drivers with much more opportunity of charging stations than the regular petrol stations.

While speaking to Reuters, Peter Schwarzenbauer, a member of the Board of Management of BMW AG mentioned: “Seamless charging infrastructure is essential if we want to see more electric vehicles on the road in our cities in the future.”

BMW Mini team, further also mentioned that somewhere next year they would be carrying out the testing of their ‘Light and Charge system’ in Munich, Germany. The team also added that they are planning to integrate their innovative technology into the existing lighting networks for now instead of using the prototype lamps which they have developed. Further, the team also announced that they have already installed two smart street lights in front of the BMW headquarters located in Munich. It seems electric car drivers can charge their cars and use their mobile phone app to make the payment.

Operating the system is quite easy and drivers can connect their electric-car to the street light by using a standard charging cable and then with the help of the control panel present on the street light they can register their use by swiping their charge card. The team confirmed that the technology can work with any type and any model of an electric car. The team further says that for this technology to be a success it would just need enough room along the side of the road which would provide temporary parking for the electric cars.

With the introduction of this technology it is definitely possible to get more electric cars on the road which is a commitment made by BMW.

Last year, Washington-based American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), conferred on Germany, the title of world’s most energy-efficient country, as it uses solar power to produce at least half of their total energy.

As per Reuters, BMW is already investing funds in software and applications that would help electric car drivers to spot the nearby parking spots and charging stations. In addition BMW has also approached Tesla Motors, an US start up and competitor, in regards to their smart street light charging stations.

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