BMW Announces Street Lighting Charging Station Technology

BMW announces street lighting charging station technology
BMW announces street lighting charging station technology

Only a few days ago we brought you news that there was a company working on the potential to use street lighting posts as charging stations for electric vehicles. The ground breaking idea seems to have caught the attention of other electric vehicle vendors, with BMW set to run a pilot scheme in Munich next year using charging stations connected to the street lighting network. If this technology is proven to work, and is reliable, there is every chance that it could be the final piece of the electric vehicle jigsaw. Until now journey capacity has been one of the major issues facing the industry but when you bear in mind the number of streetlights could this be the end of recharging issues?

The company has already made two prototypes of its so-called "Light and Charge" streetlights which bring together light emitting diodes with the company's ChargeNow technology. However, while this could be a major breakthrough for BMW and for the industry it seems that BMW is far from complacent.

Tesla and BMW working together?

While there is no doubt that Tesla has the appetite to work with competitors, and other car manufacturers, many will be surprised to learn that BMW seems more than happy to jump into bed with its major competitor. It is common knowledge that Elon Musk is in the process of installing "super charging stations" across some of the major roads in the US which can recharge Tesla vehicles in just 20 minutes - giving a range of 130 miles.

Quote from ElectricForum.com: "Specifications for the BMW i8"

In a normal world it would be difficult to integrate Tesla's recharging technology with that of for example BMW but Tesla is not an ordinary company. This is a company which has already announced it will no longer pursue those who infringe the company's technological patents so long as they are used for the good of the overall industry. It is difficult to remember any company in such a technologically advanced sector effectively giving away technology secrets which have literally cost billions to obtain.

Is Tesla being cute?

On the surface it does look as though Tesla is doing everything it can for the industry and assisting competitors where there is potential for the sector as a whole to move forward. While very noble, this has prompted some experts to suggest the company may well be ensuring the sector depends upon its technology in the short to medium term, therefore ensuring that Tesla will be the leader for some time to come. Whether this is correct remains to be seen but there is no doubt Tesla's CEO Elon Musk is not a stereotypical business man.

It is interesting to see some of the leaders in the automobile industry seemingly working together in the short, medium and longer term. It will surprise many that BMW is happy to jump into bed with a major competitor but at the end of the day without a recharging network it would be difficult to obtain full efficiency and acceptance of electric vehicles in the longer term.