The true benefits of charging from a street lamp really come into their own in the public precincts in towns and cities - specifically wherever a shortage of private garages oblige people to park beside the kerb, and in roadside parking bays. This is where the cultural mobility side of ‘street lamp charging’ really gains in significance. The fear that the 2.3 kW to 7 kW charging power envisaged for single-phase street lamp charging points may be insufficient for users can be countered by an old saying about petrol stations, ‘seek, fill, drive’. In contrast, street lamp charging points are a cost-efficient way of delivering widespread availability of charging points within the public domain. This dispenses with the need for ‘seeking’. Given that most drivers only cover short distances most of the time, there is no need for full charging - topping up is all that is involved. Finally, many parking situations, for example at a workplace or during the night, involve vehicles being parked for long periods. At the end of which, batteries can be fully charged, since even a 3.6 kW street lamp charging point delivers an hourly charge equivalent to about 25 kilometres of driving.
The future of street lamp charging is starting to gain headway. For example, ebee exclusively supplies the winner of the Berlin tender, Allego, with lantern charging points for public operation. Street lamp pilot projects based on ebee’s ‘Berlin’ charging point have been implemented in Bottrop, Aachen Hanover and Cologne. In November 2017, the power grid operator E.DIS inaugurated its first ‘Berlin’ street lamp charging point in the Brandenburg district of Grossbeeren. To date, a further three ebee-Bender customer companies have achieved success with domestic and international sales of their own street lamp charging point solutions, each one based on the CC612 charge controller.
To an increasing extent, infrastructure operators are starting to become aware of the potential of charging at street lamps. Now car drivers are being asked to become inspired in future by the ebee motto for charging in public precincts:
“We don't drive to charge. We charge while parked (beside a street lamp)”.
Dipl. Pol. Peter Wilhelm, ebee smart technologies GmbH, Berlin