Concept of the Day: BMW Light and Charge

November 11, 2014 § Leave a comment

bmw light and chargeBMW has unveiled a dual-purpose streetlight-cum-EV charging point at the Eurocities 2014 conference in Munich this week. Two prototypes are now in operation at the BMW Welt centre in the city, and are integrated into the BMW i ChargeNow network, so users can pay by smartcard or phone app. It’s proposed as a way to “seamlessly integrate a smoothly-functioning charging station network into the urban landscape”. Featuring a modular LED system, the lighting is said to be energy-efficient and effective, with up to four LED modules which can be fitted for night-time lighting on main roads, or one or two for low-level illumination in residential areas. The next phase of the project in partnership with the city of Munich, from spring 2015, will see these “grafted straight onto the existing local authority street lighting infrastructure, substantially increasing the number of public charging stations at a stroke”. The charging points will be compatible with non-BMW EVs as well, and provider-independent via the Hubject e-roaming platform. More here.

  • Some predicted figures for European EV sales via Automotive News Europe: LMC Automotive expects 150,000-250,000 a year by 2020 in a total global market of 19.3million, with 53,000-odd this year (up from 31,615 in 2013). JATO Dynamics has counted 24,000 EVs sold in the first half of this year (over twice the 12,480 at the same point in 2013), with the European best-seller the Nissan Leaf, followed by the Tesla Model S and BMW i3. These three accounted for over 10,000 of the sales.
  • Here’s a new phrase to use in the context of connected cars: “swarm intelligence”. Daimler’s considering this with reference to automated driving technologies; an executive explains to ANE that this is part of a three-pronged vision involving the car as electrified, gradually automated, and as “part of the internet” – not just connected to it, but able to communicate with other vehicles, road users, infrastructure and so on.
  • A racing-developed chassis forms the basis of the North Carolina-made EV Fleet Condor pick-up, a nicely mean-looking truck just launched Stateside. It’s promised to be tough, fast – and affordable to buy and run. It does 80mph and 100 miles on a full charge. I rather like the thought of these running around working in the Blue Ridge Mountains…
  •  And Audi has launched a car-share platform called Unite in Stockholm: the idea is that five people (neighbours, family, work colleagues) choose a car to use on a pay-as-you-go basis. Monthly invoices can be split individually or shared between the co-drivers evenly, and include servicing, maintenance and Stockholm’s congestion charge; cleaning inside and out is an extra-cost option. Cars are reserved and monitored via smartphone app and ‘beacon’ transmitter (so you can see where your co-drivers in your ‘circle’ are going?). Interesting.

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