BMW developing electric street light chargers for e-cars

10 Nov 2014

BMW is attempting to solve the issue of limited electric car charging points by developing a street light that could connect to a person’s car allowing them to charge almost anywhere.

So far the company have confirmed they have produced two prototypes of their ‘Light and Charge’ street lights placed outside their own headquarters with plans to introduce a number of them to Munich’s streets sometime next year.

The relatively straightforward concept will see the existing power network’s array of LED street lights connected to BMW’s charging points that have been developed for their own range of electric cars.

Available to use with any electric car model, BMW will develop the system to be used with a mobile phone app that will allow for them to pay for using it.

It is hoped that this relatively simple solution could solve a much bigger problem whereby electric car uptake in Europe still lags far behind fossil fuel powered cars because of a lack of infrastructure that will allow an electric car gain access to a charging point in a similar fashion to traditional petrol stations.

The German car manufacturer has also held discussions recently with Elon Musk’s Tesla Motors to tackle this issue and develop a network of electric car charging points throughout the continent.

Speaking of their Light and Charge system, Peter Schwarzenbauer of BMW believes that “Seamless charging infrastructure is essential if we want to see more electric vehicles on the road in our cities in the future.”

BMW’s Munich headquarters image via Shutterstock

Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic