BMW may just have made it easier to drive electric cars in cities — with special streetlights that also charge electric vehicles. The technology, called 'Light and Charge', will launch in Munich next year.
"Charging infrastructure is essential to the future of electric vehicles in cities," said Peter Schwarzenbauer, a member of BMW's board of management. BMW revealed the technology at the Eurocities conference in Munich last week.
According to BMW, two of the next-generation streetlights will be installed in Munich next year. They'll feature LED lights similar to car headlights, along with BMW's ChargeNow electrical stations.
Light and Charge stations could revolutionize the electric infrastructure. Cars like BMW's i3 model, Tesla's Model III and Nissan's Leaf are popular, but they take a long time to charge, and stations can be few and far between.
The Light and Charge system could solve that problem. The stations integrate with existing electrical infrastructure, so there's no need to build a new citywide charging system.
Reuters reports that all kinds of electric cars will be able to charge at the stations. Drivers will pay for their electricity via an app.
As an added environmental bonus, LEDs are more energy efficient than regular streetlights. BMW claims they reduce light pollution because they illuminate areas more precisely than traditional lights — meaning surrounding apartments should be able to get a better night's sleep.
Tags: BMW, DEV - DESIGN, DEV & DESIGN, ELECTRIC CARS, Tech