The Latest Outrageous Place to Hide EV Charging: Manhole Covers
A couple of months ago, New York City planners considered turning disused public telephone kiosks into electric car charging stations. Now, HEVO power, a New York-based company offering EV charging solutions, wants to turn manhole covers into wireless charging locations for electric cars.
These ideas follow the same of line of thinking: instead of putting electric car charging in the open in the big city, hide it in unlikely places.
Jeremy McCool of HEVO Power got the manhole idea while strolling the streets of New York. “I was standing at 116th and Broadway, and I was looking down and saw a manhole cover,” McCool told Wired. “I thought, that’s the ticket. There are no cords, no hazards. Everything can be underneath the manhole cover.”
HEVO’s wireless system offers Level 2 charging. The company plans to deploy its first charging stations in Washington Square Park in 2014.
New York City has about 8,000 active public telephone kiosks, which could provide ample room for some form of public charging. Rahul Merchant, chief information and innovation officer and commissioner in the city’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, described the conversion of public phones to EV charging stations as “a great idea we should absolutely entertain.”
But considering the logistics and red tape involved, it could take years to turn the idea into a reality. The same holds true for wireless manhole-cover EV charging—especially considering that today’s EVs are not set up for wireless charging. Still, it’s fun to imagine a day when electric car charging is embedded into the fabric of urban life, with cars effortlessly charging all over the place.
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