ReachNow, the mobility services division of the BMW Group, Woodland Park Zoo, and the City of Seattle celebrated the successful installation of the first of 20 Light & Charge electric vehicle (EV) charging locations that will more than double the number of Fast Chargers publicly available in Seattle. ReachNow announced that the Light & Charge system (earlier post) at the zoo is part of a $1.2-million investment by the BMW Group.
The Light & Charge system, developed by BMW together with its partner, eluminocity US Inc., transforms existing street and parking lot light poles into connected nodes on a smart city network. The system combines high-efficiency LED lighting, EV charging and a sophisticated sensor bus that senses various parameters and connects the site to the cloud. The sensor bus also provides edge-computing power for other connected devices nearby. BMW had presented a prototype system in 2014. (Earlier post.)
Additionally to the mounting onto lampposts—either lampposts with integrated threaded holes or charging points being attached to poles with brackets—the eluminocity charging stations can be installed as standalone charging columns. This standalone charger is especially useful when there are no lampposts available for mounting in the desired area.
|Example of eluminocity lamppost and charger. Source: eluminocity. Click to enlarge.|
In Seattle, each Light & Charge site will include one ChargePoint DC Fast Charger and two to four AC, Level II chargers. The chargers all run on the ChargePoint network, the largest EV Charging network in the US. Each site will all be available to the public and compatible with any EV that has a standard SAE J1772 charging port.
This investment will add up to 20 publicly accessible EV charging locations and 100 chargers—including both DC Fast Chargers and Level II chargers—to the city. Seattle is the first city in North America to make the award-winning Light & Charge system, which turns existing streetlights into EV charging stations, available to the public.
The addition of Light & Charge stations in Seattle will also allow ReachNow to expand its shared fleet of EVs. Today, the electric BMW i3 vehicle makes up 10% of the total ReachNow fleet and, with less than a year on the road, ReachNow’s shared electric fleet has saved more than 55 tons of CO2 emissions.
Woodland Park Zoo, which hosts more than 1.3 million visitors every year, is an ideal home for the first Light & Charge station. For many years, the zoo has focused on sustainability programs. For example, the zoo is one of the leading institutions nationally on sustainable exhibit design. It also was awarded the first LEED gold building certification in any zoo across the country. Making the Light & Charge system available to the public also supports the zoo’s initiative to reduce carbon emissions stemming from zoo operations.
ReachNow has more than 50,000 members and is available in Seattle, Portland and Brooklyn. ReachNow offers members the ability to hop into a BMW, BMW i3 or MINI vehicle anytime of the day, keep the vehicle for as long as they like and park in a location convenient to their destination.
ReachNow is also building future mobility services, with pilots for ReachNow Ride, Reserve, Fleet and Share live in Seattle and other markets. Registration for ReachNow is available through the ReachNow app for iPhone and Android. ReachNow is currently offering free lifetime membership (a $39 value) for a limited time.