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Motoring Top Stories

Smart poles to light up EV charging in Sydney logo 16/03/2019 Rob Margeit

Charging your electric vehicle on the run is about to become a little easier thanks to new technology being trialled in Sydney beginning this week.

The first of 20 smart street lights, each believed to cost around $30,000, has been installed in Sydney’s Blacktown and offers free – for now – charging points for EVs. Further poles are expected to be rolled out in Blacktown and Canada Bay in Sydney’s inner-west.

More than just providing lighting, the smart poles also bring security cameras and Wi-Fi hotspots to the kerbside environment.

Australian EV charging infrastructure company, JET Charge, along with Ene.Hub, was involved in the design and build process of the smart poles, which offer the same charge rate as standard household connections.

While not the fastest method of charging, smart poles provide yet another avenue for replenishing the electrons in an EV and offer a glimpse into a kerbside charging future.

“So basically we’re working with a smart light pole company to deploy the first light pole chargers in Australia,” Tim Washington, CEO of JET Charge told CarAdvice at the Nissan Future summit in Hong Kong last weekend. Washington confirmed charging would be free for the moment.

“At the moment it’s the company that pays for it. In the future [the consumer] might pay for it but there’s no pricing model as yet.” The move is a departure from JET Charge which installs and oversees fast-charging stations for EVs across Australia. “JET Charge, as a business, we distribute other people’s products,” said Washington.

“But with this particular light pole charger, we worked with Ene.Hub to basically design and make a custom solution for them.” 

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