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Outdoor parking becomes outdoor charging


A collaborative pilot project by Stromnetz Berlin and ubitricity demonstrates how charging infrastructure can be constructed efficiently and at a good price, as part of measures to modernise street lighting.

A collaborative pilot project by Stromnetz Berlin and ubitricity demonstrates how charging infrastructure can be constructed efficiently and at a good price, as part of measures to modernise street lighting.

Berlin's distribution system operator Stromnetz Berlin and Berlin-based company ubitricity are working together in Berlin to try out new ways to bring charging infrastructure for electric vehicles to the streets at a good price. As part of a pilot project, the project partners are adding ubitricity system plugs to a total of ten lamp posts as part of the modernisation of the street lighting facilities and grid connections (taking place anyway), to turn them into charging points for electric vehicles. Stromnetz Berlin GmbH worked with ubitricity in advance to develop connection opportunities to integrate plugs into lamp posts. The first four lamp posts with this type of charging point were launched today in Altonaer Strasse, not far from the Siegessäule (Victory Column) in the Mitte district.

Inbetriebnahme der Ladelaterne

Together, Knut Hechtfischer, Dr Frank Pawlitschek (both from ubitricity), district councillor Carsten Spallek and Dr Helmar Rendez, Stromnetz Berlin, switched on the four charging street lamps.


In contrast to charging columns, ubitricity system plugs do not incur any ongoing costs for user authorisation, measurement and calculation of energy consumption. They are purpose-built, technologically simple plugs which can be integrated both into walls and wholly into lamp posts - preserving the cityscape and protected against vandalism. The cost of charging infrastructure in public spaces can thus be reduced by up to 90 per cent.

These efficient charging points are made possible by the use of mobile intelligent energy meters in the charging cable with which users can switch on the charging point, charge their vehicle and calculate the energy consumed. Users can select their chosen energy supplier for their intelligent charging cable, meaning that they are practically bringing their own electricity to the charging point. As part of this project, Stromnetz Berlin is collaborating with ubitricity to support and test new, innovative processes which are making integrated mobile electricity meters a reality for the first time. This guarantees that it's electricity from the chosen providers that comes out of these Berlin street lamps. The process is similar to that for mobile phones: a mobile electricity meter in the charging cable + a mobile electricity contract for the cable with the desired provider = charge with your own electricity wherever you are.

This solution is particularly efficient if - as the joint pilot project revealed - the system plugs can be built in at the same time as existing construction measures, renovation or measures to modernise public street lighting are taking place. Around 300,000 lamp posts are modernised or replaced across Germany each year. This creates significant synergy effects which enable communities to acquire new services at a low cost.

"Electricity grids are the petrol stations of the future. And as Germany's largest metropolis, Berlin is an ideal playground for testing and developing all aspects of electromobility. As a Berlin grid operator, we're particularly proud to be able to offer the smart idea of the charger lamps on our grid, through our collaboration with ubitricity," says Dr Helmar Rendez, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Stromnetz Berlin GmbH.

"We are delighted that in Stromnetz Berlin, we have a partner with whom with can make our grid and lighting innovations a reality," says Frank Pawlitschek, co-founder and CEO of ubitricity. "Conventional charging infrastructure is just too expensive for the public arena because there's no business model. By using mobile, intelligent energy meters, we don't just make charging infrastructure economical at home and in the workplace, but even in public spaces."

"The use of electric vehicles will increase significantly in large cities and their centres in the next few years. I am delighted that we in Mitte are trailblazers in this area, among others, and that as part of the "emobility" shop window initiative we can support positive development with the opportunities that we have to offer," says Carsten Spallek, District Councillor for city development in Berlin Mitte.

About Ubitricity
ubitricity was founded in 2008 in Berlin by Knut Hechtfischer and Frank Pawlitschek in order to reduce the cost of charging infrastructure for electric vehicles by up to 90% through the use of mobile, intelligent energy meters. Since 2012, the system has been running in national and international field tests with leading partners in preparation for its commercial launch in 2015. For the first time, ubitricity enables direct supply to mobile consumers. In doing so, they adhere to the standard processes of the energy market. ubitricity uses this to offer established energy suppliers new, commercially attractive, economical service provision opportunities for electric vehicles: they can offer their customers energy for their travels.