BMW has dreamed up a clever system that allows electric cars to recharge by plugging into street lights. Light and Charge, as it is known, is currently just a concept, but will launch in Munich in 2015.
According to BMW, the Light and Charge streetlights will have two main components. The lights that illuminate the streets will take the form of LEDs, as found in some car headlights. The charging component will be almost identical to those found in BMW’s ChargeNow car recharging stations.
Intriguingly, Light and Charge stations can be integrated with existing electrical infrastructure, although old lights will have to be removed and replaced.
Light and Charge could make electric vehicles (EVs) more appealing to mainstream customers. One of the main issues with the technology is the fact there are relatively few places to charge them once away from home – a problem this technology could help overcome.
According to a report by Reuters, BMW will allow all models of EV to use its Light and Charge stations, not just its own i3 and i8 models.
Peter Schwarzenbauer, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, said: “Seamless charging infrastructure is essential if we want to see more electric vehicles on the road in our cities in the future.”
Two street lights are already installed in front of BMW’s headquarters. More will roll out across Munich in 2015.