On-street charging is seen as the most likely solution to the dilemma of urban drivers who cannot install chargers in their homes. Street chargers come in many configurations, but perhaps the most intriguing one we’ve heard of is a charger that can be installed into existing streetlights.
Above: Tesla charges via a streetlight. Photo: Ubitricity
Seems like a good idea for several reasons: no extra clutter on the street, no moving parts, no need to run a new electrical service. Today, several companies are competing in the space, and pilots are operational in London, New York, Kansas City and Valencia, Spain.
Here’s another reason to love a streetlight: According to a new study, the carbon footprint of manufacturing and installing a streetlight charger can be up to 88% lower than a standalone charging station .
The study, “Embedded Carbon Analysis at Residential On-Street Electric Vehicle Charging Stations,” was commissioned by UK-based street lamp charging operator ChargeLight and conducted by Sustainability Analytics. It aims to quantify the amount of carbon emissions that could be avoided by deploying streetlight chargers instead of conventional charging stations. The authors note that there are at least 300,000 streetlights in the UK that can be retrofitted for recharging purposes.
Above: an EV charger integrated into a lamppost. Photo: Transport and Energy
The study’s conclusion that streetlight chargers are less carbon-intensive because they reuse existing infrastructure chimes with common sense. Done correctly, adding a loader to an existing station should definitely require less material, less time, and less hassle, which translates into emissions.
“The resource requirements for new charging pillars are much higher than using existing sources of electricity on the street, so it’s no surprise that building new pillars leads to more carbon emissions.” , said Henry le Fleming, founder of Sustainability Analytics.
Everything has an environmental footprint, and those who deploy EVSE often discuss the greenness of the electricity their chargers will use. However, we rarely, if ever, hear about the relative carbon footprint of alternative hardware types. ChargeLight would like government agencies to consider embodied carbon as a criterion in charging infrastructure funding decisions.
“This study not only shows that street lamp charging is by far the lowest carbon solution for on-street charging infrastructure, but it also underscores why embodied carbon should be a much higher priority consideration for funding bodies. governments and enterprises when selecting technology solutions,” said Tom Pakenham, Chief Executive Officer of ChargeLight.
This article originally appeared in Charged. Author: Charles Morris. Source: Transport + Energy