Ubitricity Lamp Post Charging Featured By Fully Charged – Video

2 days ago by Mark Kane 23

Here is another approach to the lamp post charging station by Ubitricity, which was founded in Germany and now looks to tap into the British market.

Ubitricity Lamp Post

According to Ubitricity, the cost of the charging station inside the lamp post is only a fraction of installing a whole new charging point.

However we should note that there is a need for a special EVSE cable (that locks at both ends while the vehicle is charging) for use with the stations.

Better still, with new LED lights being installed in today’s lamp posts, that leaves additional power to be re-directed for EV charging.

“The simple and very commonplace lamp post will soon become a ubiquitous charge point for electric cars. They charge at about 5 kW, or 16 amps, not super fast but overnight charging is all most drivers need.

Ubitricity is a German based company who’ve come up with a simple, cheap to install and well managed system for more people on more streets to adopt electric cars.”

Tags: , ,

23 responses to "Ubitricity Lamp Post Charging Featured By Fully Charged – Video"

  1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

    “…we should note that there is a need for a special EVSE cable (that locks at both ends while the vehicle is charging) for use with the stations.”

    Retrofitting lamp posts to be EV chargers is certainly a step in the right direction, but very few EV owners would put up with buying and carrying dozens of different charging cables/adapters in their car, on the off chance that they might park next to a public EV charger… and be able to figure out which cable/adapter to use!

    I think the need for a true universal charging standard for EVs is an even bigger need than installing continent-wide DCFC EV charging networks. As soon as we have that standard, a lot of the existing EV chargers will become obsolete anyway.

    1. (⌐■_■) Trollnonymous says:

      “…but very few EV owners would put up with buying and carrying dozens of different charging cables/adapters in their car”

      Only the nerediest of EV nerds do this.
      I lug around an OpenEVSE (in a much smaller package than the OEM) and 25′ cord……lol

      This allows you to destination charge wherever you can get 120VAC or 240VAC.

    2. Nick says:

      This is a special case, since the billing and power handling is built into the cable itself.

      This is designed for overnight charging by residents, not as a destination charger or along the route charging for transient usage.

      They need to keep the cost down, so they can get most light poles, and not require reserved parking spaces while still being affordable.

      Thanks!

      1. Amy K says:

        But why a whole cord? Why not an outlet extender that is about an inch thick and locks to the owner’s existing cord on one end and the lap post outlet on the other? Or maybe a doughnut shape around the cord to hold the electronics?

        I’m sure there are engineering considerations, but a whole cord in addition to the one that (usually) comes with the car seems extraneous.

        1. unlucky says:

          The cord surely has a cellular radio in it. It’ll get better reception if it isn’t snug up against the metal lamppost.

    3. ItsNotAboutTheMoney says:

      In this case the special cable isn’t for the plug (which is a regular Type 2) it’s for identifying the customer and tracking the electricity used.

    4. La Frennia di Mamata says:

      THE BEST IDEA YET ! TAKE IT A STEP FURTHER & SLIP IN SOME Level 2’S & 3’S…And Post Some Signs!!!

  2. Bojan says:

    The problem with electric supply in lamps is, it gets turned off during the day, so this would be only useful for overnight charging. As such, the special cable isn’t such a big problem, since you would only need it for your local lamps.

    1. Unplugged says:

      Each lamp has its own sensor for turning the light on. (You have certainly seen this at sunset on any street.) The power is provided to the lamp pole at all times of the day.

      1. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

        Yes. Thank you.

  3. KM says:

    A British company Rolec also has a similar solution for lamp posts but I don’t think you need a special cable.

  4. Brave Lil' Toaster says:

    “Better still, with new LED lights being installed in today’s lamp posts, that leaves additional power to be re-directed for EV charging.”

    I don’t see why this even matters, unless there’s a circuit breaker that I’m not aware of inside each pole.

    1. unlucky says:

      Because the wires in the ground are only rated for a certain amount of current.

  5. unlucky says:

    The cost of the thing in the lamppost is so low because there’s nothing in there but an electronic ID, a socket and a switch to turn off the power.

    The cable you have to buy surely has a cellular data connection, ID authentication system and power metering system. It figures out which you post you are connected to from the ID, then you log into it and it records how much power you use, sending that info to the net.

    It’s not going to be a cheap cable. And you better hope it isn’t stolen since you’ll have to replace it.

    The designers are correct in that there is no reason a car couldn’t identify the socket it is connected to and then participate in setting up a billing transaction. It’s what a Tesla does when supercharging. But I don’t know when we’ll see that for plug-ins in general.

    1. Tom says:

      I doubt it. I’m betting the cable is dumb. I would think the device in the post could be blue tooth and turned on/off from an app on your phone or something like that. Or the device in the pole is cell signal too and same thing. phone on/off. there’s no reason to have the controls in the cord at all.

      1. Nick says:

        Watch the video. The cable is smart.

      2. unlucky says:

        There’s no way the cable is dumb. As you can see from the video. Also, if this guy says he has the lowest cost module on the post (and he does) then there is no way to do that unless you take the smarts out.

        The device in the post could be bluetooth, although there are probably cheaper ways to communicate to something you actually have a cord connected to!

        But the key isn’t how you talk to the post. The key is how much brains are in the post. Taking the cellular radio out saves a lot of money in the post. Once you have a special smart code, why wouldn’t you take all the smarts out of the post that you can?

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      “The designers are correct in that there is no reason a car couldn’t identify the socket it is connected to and then participate in setting up a billing transaction. It’s what a Tesla does when supercharging. But I don’t know when we’ll see that for plug-ins in general.”

      EV-Line is making it possible to turn any publicly accessible electrical outlet in S. Korea into a L2 EV charger, apparently at minimal cost, using a “smart” EVSE carried in the EV that can communicate with a radio-controlled off/on switch in the outlet. Of course, it helps that 220v is standard in S. Korea.

      Seems to me similar tech could be used almost anywhere. This is the sort of thing we need to advance the EV revolution… but first we need a universal EV charging standard!

      https://cleantechnica.com/2015/05/19/ev-line-can-turn-any-outlet-in-south-korea-into-a-level-2-charger/

  6. Nicholas says:

    Kind of cool but adding cost lends a lot of complexity to an otherwise simple effort.

  7. Phaedrus says:

    I see another problem with this solution, namely: what happens when ICE cars park at those posts? The post will not be available to an EV then. I doubt they will reserve such places for EV’s only like regular charge points.

    1. unlucky says:

      Mentioned in the video. They suggest that the solution there is just to power more posts. They don’t reserve spots. If every light post is powered then about half the spots are adjacent to a powered post and of those two adjacent spots, one of them can power a car.

      That’s a fair selection of spots available for EVs and you can charge several cars per block.

      But yes, it is possible you could arrive at a block which has spots available but none that have power available. I guess you just go to the next block. This will surely happen a lot in their early buildout as they will be putting in spots upon request instead of powering entire blocks at once.

    2. Pushmi-Pullyu says:

      Yeah. The lack of any reserved parking spots is presented here as an advantage, when really it would be a severe disadvantage for anyone would want to depend on that for daily (or nightly) charging.

  8. Bill Howland says:

    Good video – but some Bromides need correction.

    “…Better still, with new LED lights being installed in today’s lamp posts, that leaves additional power to be re-directed for EV charging.
    “The simple and very commonplace lamp post will soon become a ubiquitous charge point for electric cars. They charge at about 5 kW, or 16 amps, not super fast but overnight charging is all most drivers need….”

    The closest I can get 16 amps to be on any system is 3800 watts, 5000 as stated must be a very optimistic rounding up. A V Or Y connection would be 7200 or 10800 watts, so I’m assuming they mean 3800 since that is the closest – but this is just trying to make their statement somewhat accurate.

    More of a joke is the statement that changing a street lamp post from metal halide or HPSodium Vapor ‘leaves electricity free to be used as charging’.

    On side streets, Incandescent street lights were typically 200 watts, Mh or HPS 75 watts (including ballast losses), and LED 30 watts.

    So we gain 170,or 45 watts per lamp post by modernizing the lighting. AND THEN they say this thing chargest at 5000 watts, which is what 25 incandescent lamp posts would draw.

    Naturally, this system works fine with the one demonstration car charging.

    But it reminds me of someone charging at the Syracuse, NY Chili’s as long as were only 2 old LEAF’s (18 amps each) or VOLT’s (15 amps).

    Plugging in any 6 kw car along with anything else blew the fuse. It had to be rewired and now it works fine.

    This concept can be made to work – but if there are more than a trivial amount of cars charging (i.e. more than one at a time), they will need beefier wiring.

    Of course, in this country people would charge just to get the extra cheap charging rate.

    But the concept is a good idea, especially for lamp-post retrofits. In the states, if the Utility was not providing the juice, it would have to also be Revenue Metered, but that is a small detail.

Leave a Reply