City dwellers in apartment buildings who lack dedicated parking spaces are sort of out of luck when it comes to owning an electric vehicle.
By Ethan Elkind
As a possible remedy, I’ve mused in the past about the possibilities of installing public charging stations on city streetlights.
The City of Lancaster, California has launched a demonstration project that will integrate chargers into five streetlights in the trendy downtown district. The charging units are made by ebee Smart Technologies, a specialist in controller technology designed to make installing public charging cheaper and more flexible. The company has installed some 10,000 of its controllers in chargers in Europe.
A grant from the Antelope Valley Air Quality Management District will cover 80% of the project cost, including installation, maintenance, and five years of data collection. The remaining 20% will be covered by ebee and its partners, EasyCharge and eluminocity, which created the charger housings.
If it can work in Lancaster, maybe it can work in densely populated downtowns anywhere around the world. Because otherwise these residents are victims of inadequate charging infrastructure, as Berkeley and UCLA law schools covered in the new report “Plugging Away: How to Boost Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure.”
And this infrastructure deployment can’t happen soon enough, with automakers like Volvo now announcing that they’re abandoning internal combustion engines by 2019.
The electric drive revolution is here, but it will falter without more investment in options like streetlight charging, for all those who live in buildings without dedicated parking.
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