Expanding the availability of charging stations to meet the needs of the increasing number of electric vehicles on the road is a growing priority in most urban centers.
Mandating EV infrastructure in new construction, recently adopted by the Municipality of Saanich and now being copied by cities like Nelson, BC, will ensure the network continues to expand. And “Right to Charge” legislation will eventually go a long way to eliminating line-ups and confrontations at current charge facilities as more people living in condos and apartment buildings gain the ability to charge at home.
But making charge points as easy to find as a parking space might be an easily adoptable solution whose time has also come.
As of this week, Los Angeles has installed 130 charging stations at streetlights next to parking spaces around the city, tapping into existing electrical infrastructure while eliminating the need to install additional circuitry and stand alone equipment.
The city’s recent conversion of street lights to energy-efficient LEDs made the EV solution possible. The fee for charging is typically $1 to $2 per hour. Parking is free.
Systems such as these are a familiar sight in European cities, but this is the first such project in North America. Under the current plan, the city will add an additional 150 light pole connected chargers each year for the foreseeable future.