In the USA, Kansas City, Missouri has launched a pilot project to install public Level 2 EV charging stations on light poles. By the end of this year, the Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC) plans to have 30 to 60 chargers in place throughout the city.
The pilot, which is part of the Streetlight Charging in the City Right-of-Way pilot project, aims to demonstrate how charging can be integrated with the streetlight system to provide curbside access to public EV charging. The project should be expanded for access for renters, multi-family building residents, and taxis. The local community will be engaged in a collaborative effort to identify and evaluate the benefits and impacts of streetlight charging.
The Metropolitan Energy Center (MEC) is leading the project, the Department of Energy (DOE) has provided funding, and project partners are providing in-kind contributions. Charging station owners will handle ongoing operating and maintenance costs of the streetlight charging points.
Given that each pole selected gets one Level 2 charger rated at 240 volts AC, which is good for up to 20 miles of range per hour of charging, it is likely that the charging points will be most useful for longer parking for commuters at work, top-ups for shoppers or people with appointments, or overnight parking.
Over the Atlantic, Berlin-based charging specialist Ubitricity has been providing street light chargers for a few years. In January this year, the company was taken over by Shell. Ubitricity charging points can be integrated into bollards as well as lampposts and have also been set up in the UK (2,700 charging points), and 1,500 private charging points have already been installed for fleet customers in Europe.
Over in Missouri, the program for Kansas City began its design phase in 2018. The MEC is now beginning installations that should be completed by the end of the year.
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