Innovation That Matters

In Berlin, retrofitted lampposts can charge electric vehicles


Ubitricity's mobile charging device will enable electricity providers to supply plug-in EV drivers with charging stations exactly where they need them.

The fleet of electric vehicles is growing at a very encouraging rate — especially in the US where tax credits have been offered as incentives since 2008. We have already seen innovations such as the EV Arc — a parking space sized platform that can charge vehicles using energy from the sun. Now, Ubitricity hope to spur on the adoption of renewable transport further by allowing consumers to charge anywhere with their portable charging device.

Ubitricity — the Berlin based start-up — is leading a transatlantic venture to do away with sophisticated but costly charging stations for electric vehicles. In their place, they are looking to system sockets and smart cables — portable devices that can access the electricity grid anywhere, anytime through retrofitted lampposts and other existing infrastructure.


Ubitricity estimates that up to 2 percent of Germany’s lampposts could accommodate system sockets with some simple rewiring — these could then be used simultaneously for lighting and charging, at a substantially lower cost than creating more individual EV charging stations. Consumers will be able to purchase the portable smart cable from summer 2015 at a projected cost of USD 600. Mobile metering technology will then enable them to charge their electric vehicle at any existing station through a contract and supplier of their choice, and receive an itemized bill to their mobile.

Ubitricity is working alongside French utility provider EDF, German provider Grundgun and US manufacture Tyco on pilot projects in Germany which will see 100 charging stations in Berlin and 60 around Lake Constance. The success of these products could offer huge potential savings to energy providers and consumers alike, as well as greater convenience and heightened potential for green living. How else could the existing power infrastructure be adapted to make living a green life easier?



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