As the market for electric vehicles continues to grow, electric-car infrastructure will need to keep up with the growing population of them.
To solve the problem, companies are looking at a variety of new and innovative ways to charge more cars without actually taking up more space.
Enter the ebee Smart Technologies streetlight charging station—which has now has arrived in Lancaster, California.
The concept is similar to the Ubitricity streetlight charging stations used in the United Kingdom, but ebee’s approach is a little different.
Instead of outfitting the streetlight with a simple socket, ebee attaches an actual charging station to the streetlight pole.
The strategy may be more fitting for Lancaster where cars don’t necessarily sit on the street parked overnight.
Instead, it invites electric-car owners to park for a period of time while they run errands or do other activities.
The European Ubitricity units house a simple cord that locks, to ensure it doesn’t go missing during overnight charging, while the ebee station has a conventional U.S. cord and plug.
Like Ubitricity, ebee’s solution can save money on infrastructure and take up less space since the needed electrical lines are already in place.
To start, only five streetlights will be outfitted with the charging station equipment in the city’s downtown district.
However, ebee says it has already installed more than 10,000 of its units in Europe.
Of the cost in Lancaster, 80 percent will be covered by a grant, including funds for any needed maintenance and assuring five year’s worth of data collection.
The other 20 percent will be covered by ebee, EasyCharge, and eluminocity, which has crafted the charger housings.
Since California is the largest single U.S. market for electric vehicles, innovations like ebee’s streetlight-charging station can be tested by a sufficient population of plug-in car drivers.
Streetlights That Charge Electric Cars Arrive in California City, by Sean Szymkowski, Green Car Reports, July 9, 2017.