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City transforms old streetlights into an incredible new resource for commuters: 'An elegant solution'

The solution comes from Ubitricity and Siemens.

Old streetlight turned EV charging stations

Photo Credit: iStock

As the demand for electric vehicles grows, one of the largest questions on everyone's mind is whether infrastructures can keep up. But London seems to have devised the perfect solution in urban areas: streetlights

The innovative new charging stations are appearing all over the city, but most notably on a street in the city of Westminster, now dubbed Electric Avenue, thanks to all streetlamps being converted, reports the Optimist Daily. The solution comes from Ubitricity and Siemens, two tech moguls that have now spotted the U.K. with some 1,300 installments.

The technology is surprisingly straightforward. It doesn't require any digging up of roads or sidewalks to lay new infrastructure. Instead, it utilizes the power already used in the streetlights. EV owners use a SmartCable to plug into the streetlight and then their vehicle. The cable has a built-in meter box to register the kilowatt-hours used, and the EV owner is billed electronically. 

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This sleek solution not only brings charging capabilities to vehicles parking streetside for a short time, it also allows people living in urban housing without driveways or garages to have a reliable, consistent way to charge their EVs. 

This is great news as EVs seem to continue to gain major traction. Thanks to dropping prices, government subsidies, and low maintenance costs, EVs are becoming more affordable and attainable than ever before.

The switch doesn't just benefit consumers though; it's also good for the planet. Thanks to their batteries, EVs have no tailpipe releases of planet-warming carbon pollution. This helps decrease our overall environmental impact, especially as electricity continues to make big moves toward renewable, clean energy.

Replying to a tweet from Whole Mars Catalog highlighting the streetlights' new ability, many wished the design would come to cities near them. 

"An elegant solution. Also fairly easy to implement, power already in the post," one person replied.  

"Yep. That's the benefit of socket only format for AC charging infrastructure. No cables lying about when the charger isn't being used — tidier, less vandalism and compatible with all EVs since the driver provides the cable." another said

If you're in London, expect to see more of these double-duty streetlamps popping up. The city council currently plans on adding hundreds more streetlamps to the EV-charging fleet. 

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