Street lights would double up as charging points for electric cars under a scheme to cut vehicle emissions, which is in line for government funding.
With its modular LED design, the Light and 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 agreeable lighting on side streets and in residential areas. As is already the case with vehicle headlights, LED technology allows more targeted light distribution with less unnecessary and ecologically undesirable “scatter”.
With the development of the Light and Charge system, the BMW Group has signalled its commitment to the deployment of a seamless charging station infrastructure for electric vehicles. The solution it is developing in cooperation with the city of Munich can be grafted straight onto the existing local authority street lighting infrastructure, substantially increasing the number of public charging stations at a stroke. The pilot project will be launched in Munich next year. EV charging stations can be set up at any location where suitable parking is available, simply by replacing conventional street lights with Light and Charge systems.
The EV charging cable connects to a standard connector on the Light and Charge street light. The integrated control panel allows drivers to start charging with a simple press of a button. The electricity used is billed via the BMW i ChargeNow network – a system already familiar to users of the large numbers of public charging stations already participating in this network. Worldwide, the ChargeNow network already offers BMW i customers approximately 18,000 charging stations. In Europe, the concept of provider-independent charging can be further optimised with the help of the Hubject “e-roaming” platform. The Light and Charge systems presented and in use in Munich have been designed from the start for integration into the ChargeNow network and the Hubject platform. That will allow these additional charging stations to be used by as many drivers as possible, regardless of vehicle model and electricity provider.