One of the big questions as we go towards electric car technology is where all those new vehicles are going to charge. The Independent reports that several London boroughs are converting some of their street light poles to also charge electric cars. Car owners buy a charging cord with a built-in meter that can be connected to the adapted street light pole. The meter records the cost of the charge.
Having this technology on the street means that residents who do not have off street parking are able to charge their vehicles, and also means that formal dedicated electric vehicle charging stations can be minimized. Some issues have been identified by planning staff such as “concerns of the cost of installation, charging points cluttering up streets, and implementing dedicated parking spaces.”
Locating the charging stations at light poles means that there is no need for costly infrastructure for charging stations, and minimal disruption on the existing streetscape. By making charging stations accessible to everyone, politicians hope that this will further incentivize the transition to electric vehicles and to cleaner air in London.