One European company hopes to make purchasing environmentally friendly cars all the more appealing by putting the power to charge in the driver’s hands.
Occasionally while cruising the streets of downtown Los Angeles, you’ll come across street parking with a space reserved solely for an electric vehicle. Those driving a Chevy Volt or sleek Tesla can pay the meter, hook up their ride to the charging station and go run a few errands or grab a bite to eat. But instead of driving around in search of a coveted spot, one European company wants to turn every lamppost into a charging station.
For Berlin-based ubitricity’s innovation, they’ve combined low-cost infrastructure changes with a mobile charging apparatus for each driver. The idea is to install electrical outlets on street side structures — like lampposts — where many people park their cars daily. In turn, electric car owners can purchase personal charging kits for around $600 a pop starting next summer, Fast Company reports.
That might sound like pretty expensive price tag to throw on the consumer, but it cuts down on the cost of creating structure in the first place by as much as 90 percent, according to PSFK. And if they’re cheaper to build, they’re much more likely to be made readily available. That 600 bucks turns out to be a worthwhile convenience toll.
So far, the company has installed 200 sockets in Germany, and they’re ready to expand markets in France, Switzerland and The Netherlands. Also, the company is working with street lamp builders to equip them with charging stations as they’re being constructed.
The catch? These won’t be fast-paced, high-powered charge stations, but everyday outlets that charge the vehicle slowly.
Top photo courtesy of ubitricity