The first lamp-charging station in Berlin. The city will examine whether it can adapt the design for all street lamps. , Source: Ubitricity

Berliners can now charge their electric cars at public street lamps

Berliners can now charge their electric cars at public street lamps

Authorities started installing the first 200 street lamps in the city’s outer neighbourhoods, but soon their number should reach 1,000

Last week, authorities in Berlin announced that the first charging station for electric cars which is also a street lamp was installed in the city - in Marzahn-Hellersdorf, the eastmost district of Berlin, bordering the federal state of Brandenburg. The innovative station is the work of Ubitricity Gesellschaft fürdisperse Energiesysteme mbH, a Berlin-based subsidiary of Shell Group.

The project is publicly funded by the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection and it calls for another 200 street lamp-charging station hybrids in the next few weeks. Reportedly, this is only the first step of the initiative.

Reaching out to the outskirts of Berlin

One of the biggest challenges for electric vehicles in all of Europe is finding enough charging stations. Because the technology is still fairly novel, usually charging stations tend to be clustered around big population centres, as the likelihood of people having electric cars increases.

However, that is not necessarily where they are the most useful. Rural areas and far-away neighbourhoods, for instance, are much more car-dependent, while the central parts of many EU cities are a veritable nightmare to drive through.

Meike Niedbal, State Secretary for Mobility, was quoted explaining that the charging infrastructure would help people charge their cars closer to where they live, instead of having to travel. Furthermore, city experts and lawmakers are currently examining whether adapting charging stations to what Berlin already has as public lighting infrastructure would be suitable.

According to a statement by authorities in Berlin, this initiative is supposed to bring easy-access charging stations to all corners of the city. By the end of the expansion, there will be a total of 1,000 lamp-charging stations, that will become part of the public charging offer of the city.

Additionally, local officials will also focus on finding suitable locations outside the city centre and in neighbourhoods.



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