Here’s an interesting idea from London – a way to help encourage electric car usage in the wider city and suburbs.
A “framework” has been created by Transport for London with several local councils and the Greater London Authority called GULCS: the Go Ultra Low City Scheme. The partners will invest £3.7M to supply 1,100 charging points over the next two years.
Siemens, a huge German technology company has won a portion of the money along with a smaller partner, ubitricity, to supply some charging stations. They have an innovative solution that uses existing infrastructure which helps to reduce the initial cost of implementation.
One of the problems to increasing the usage of electric vehicles in most towns and cities is the charging infrastructure available for apartment and terrace housing where there is no ability to park the vehicle very close to the residence. The Siemens partners have fixed that by utilising the street lighting system that is already in use!
The light pole can be converted in under an hour to enable it to become a metered charging unit. Unfortunately a special cable needs to be used – not a regular one, perhaps that will come in version 2. The idea is that the vehicle owner parks next to a metered pole and plugs in. The pole and the customer have unique IDs such that the power supplier knows who to bill and how much power has been consumed.
ubitricity converted their first lamp post two years ago and now have over 300 installed across London. The company was founded in 2008 with an express purpose to deliver an electric vehicle charging infrastructure using renewable resources – the best way of recycling equipment!
The key to any new fuel source is the infrastructure available for refreshing the power source and when petrol and diesel became the standard fuels, a whole industry evolved very quickly to enable a driver to refuel wherever they are – with some exceptions in the world where humans do not have a presence. ubitricity have solved the problem of “refueling” an electric vehicle in an urban environment.