One of the biggest issues that electric vehicles face is the lack of places to charge them up when you’re away from home. While the obvious solution would be to develop a standalone recharging network, that takes time to implement and is very costly. Fortunately, BMW has a solution that’s both easy to implement and affordable.
According to a new report from Reuters, the German automaker has developed two prototype street lights that equip a standard LED street light design with a charging socket for an electric vehicle. The idea is ingeniously simple, as it utilizes an already-existing piece of infrastructure, and could make driving an electric vehicle much more practical in urban areas.
BMW will begin a pilot project for the technology next year in its home city of Munich. The lights can be grafted directly onto the city’s existing local authority street lighting infrastructure and can be used by as many drivers as possible, regardless of the kind of electric vehicle model that a person has or the company that provides the electricity.
The German automaker has already installed two of these charging street lights in front of its headquarters. Drivers will be able to pay to charge their vehicles by using a dedicated mobile app. BMW has created some of the most advanced electric vehicles available, but the market for such vehicles has struggled to take off due to insufficient infrastructure.