A company that installs EV chargers in streetlights claims this is not only a practical way to bring charging to urban areas, but also has a lower carbon footprint than conventional charging installations.

That's the conclusion of a study commissioned by U.K.-based streetlight charging company ChargeLight and conducted by consultancy Sustainability Analytics. First spotted by Transport+Energy (via Charged EVs), the study claims the carbon footprint of a streetlight-based charger may be up to 88% lower than a standalone charger.

That's primarily because streetlight chargers repurpose existing infrastructure, according to the study, which also noted benefits like lower costs, quicker installation times, and less street clutter. The authors also estimated that there are currently 300,000 lamp posts in the UK suitable for chargers.

ChargeLight street-light EV charging

ChargeLight street-light EV charging

ChargeLight's lamp post installations go back to 2018, using hardware from another UK firm, CityEV. While there are a few isolated installations in the United States, including installation programs in Kansas City and Seattle, most of the interest appears to be in the U.K.

With Shell and Ubitricity in it too, there's significant momentum for on-street EV chargers in the UK. Startup Trojan Energy also announced plans to test pop-up chargers around London in 2020, aiming to provide similar benefits to streetlight chargers but with an even smaller physical presence.

These solutions could help bring EV charging to cities where conventional charging infrastructure is limited. While most EV drivers do the majority of their charging at home, that's not necessarily an option for apartment dwellers who rely on overnight street parking. Streetlight chargers could address that issue and, according to this study, bring lower carbon emissions as an added bonus.