Voltpost Wants To Bring EV Charging To American Cities

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Most individuals who drive electrical vehicles cost them at house of their driveway or storage. However what if you happen to dwell in a metropolis like New York the place many residents park wherever they will discover a house on the road? There are loads of drivers like that in American cities (and around the globe), and they’re unlikely to purchase a plug-in hybrid or battery electrical automobile till they’ve entry to handy charging. Voltpost thinks it has a solution that’s fast, handy, and value efficient.

This week, it introduced it’s growing and deploying a system that converts unusual mild poles into EV chargers in New York, Chicago, Detroit, and different main US metropolitan areas this spring. “Voltpost is striving to make EV chargers as frequent as the normal lamppost. We’re empowering folks with handy and inexpensive charging entry that matches into the material of the constructed surroundings,” says Jeff Prosserman, co-founder and CEO of Voltpost. “As we carry our differentiated curbside and parking zone charging answer to market, we’re assured that Voltpost will construct extra sustainable and resilient communities by decarbonizing mobility.”

Voltpost transforms lampposts right into a modular and upgradable Stage 2 EV charging platform powered by a cellular app. The corporate claims a brief set up time of 1 to 2 hours in addition to low upkeep wants. The charging posts themselves have both 2 or 4 charging ports and have a 20-foot-long charging cable “for handy entry to any a part of the car.” The chargers are constructed within the US.

Voltpost Leverages Present  Infrastructure

Autoblog says the Voltpost machine is mainly a shroud that covers the decrease a part of a lamppost. The shroud accommodates all of the electronics and cables required to offer AC Stage 2 charging for 2 to 4 EVs. It’s not quick charging, nevertheless it’s greater than sufficient for most individuals to prime off in a single day. The corporate has not offered specs about how a lot charging energy every unit provides, nevertheless it appears secure to imagine that if two vehicles are plugged into one Voltpost unit, the charging energy will probably be half what it could be if just one automobile is charging.

Readers may also need to know extra about NACS vs CCS charging comparability at a time when all of North America is adopting the Tesla NACS charging normal. They might even be curious how nicely the the system protects in opposition to vandalism to the charging cable — a rising concern, as thieves are identified to chop them to steal the copper within the wires.

Courtesy of Voltpost

The Voltpost charging platform is especially priceless for city EV drivers residing in multi-unit housing buildings that lack devoted parking areas and have nowhere to cost an EV close to the place their residents dwell. The convenience of set up will assist carry extra EV charging to underserved communities, high-density areas, and different “charging deserts,” the corporate says.

Modular Design & Handy Operation

The modular platform design of the Voltpost permits for fast and straightforward exchanges and upgrades whereas maximizing system uptime and lowering working and upkeep prices. A Cost Station Administration System features a cellular app that lets drivers handle charging occasions and entry a map of obtainable and in-use Voltpost chargers. The app lets customers make reservations, monitor charging occasions, and pay for every charging session. The Cost Station Administration System additionally provides charging analytics for private and non-private stakeholders and lets them set charger options, together with pricing, and remotely monitor chargers.

“Many individuals hesitate to purchase an EV because of vary nervousness and lack of charging choices—think about what that’s like for folks residing in cities in multi-unit dwellings and no devoted parking,” mentioned Voltpost advisor Laura Fox, who’s the co-founder and managing companion at Streetlife Ventures. She can also be the previous basic supervisor of Citi Bike. “Voltpost’s answer is a no brainer for city curbside charging. It makes use of and upgrades current city infrastructure (lampposts) for a fraction of the price of conventional approaches, whereas enabling future city use circumstances for that infrastructure — from 5G installs to air high quality monitoring, e-bike charging and extra. The Voltpost crew has the imaginative and prescient and expertise to offer city EV customers throughout all financial backgrounds with entry to charging and speed up the electrical mobility transition.”

Final 12 months, Voltpost participated within the New York Metropolis Division of Transportation Studio program, a collaboration between the division and Newlab. Throughout the 12 months, Voltpost piloted the set up of charging stations on lampposts at Newlab and in a DOT parking zone. Suggestions from these areas offered insights into cost-effective and environment friendly deployment methods to higher plan and handle the business launch of the corporate’s lamppost charging methods. These chargers had been shortly put in in a single hour, operated with the best uptime of any service within the pilot program, and elicited constructive suggestions from New York drivers.

The Takeaway

At first blush, the Voltpost expertise is good. The largest price of putting in city charging gear is the trenching wanted to provide electrical energy to these chargers, which may contain tearing up sidewalks or streets. Doing so is neither fast nor low-cost. Lampposts by definition have a available provide of electrical energy inside simply ready to be tapped.

We right here at CleanTechnica usually are not electrical engineers, nor have we ever performed one on TV, however a fast go to to Quora discovered this data: “The working voltage of a typical streetlight within the USA is normally round 120–277 volts. This vary accommodates the completely different voltage ranges utilized in numerous areas throughout the nation.” Within the feedback, folks with some data of the topic posted that “most giant scale installations function on 480 VAC 3 part feeds, so the person luminaries are 277 VAC (one part to impartial.) In residential areas the luminaries are generally 120 or 240VAC single part.”

However that doesn’t inform us what the amperage obtainable on the charging plug on the top of the Voltpost charging cable is, which makes it exhausting to know the way lengthy it can take to cost a specific electrical automobile utilizing this technique. We additionally don’t know if drivers are anticipated to maneuver their vehicles as soon as they’re absolutely charged. In most situations, a metropolis dweller who parks on the curb within the afternoon can be reluctant to rise up in the course of the night time to maneuver the automobile to a distinct location. Lastly, there’s the difficulty of what to do with scofflaws who park their standard vehicles in entrance of a Voltpost charger. In a latest article, an creator I maintain within the highest esteem reported on the same curbside charging system operated by FLO that discovered the incidence of ICEd chargers was not as frequent as feared however nonetheless persistent.

There’s idea after which there’s actuality. Curbside charging looks like the answer metropolis dwellers want with a purpose to really feel assured that in the event that they purchase an electrical automobile, they are going to be capable of cost it conveniently. Few concepts are excellent the very first time they’re tried. Suggestions and expertise will assist refine these methods to allow them to fulfill their promise reliably. The teachings discovered by Voltpost will show invaluable to all EV drivers because the EV revolution strikes ahead.

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