The German tech firm Rheinmetall has presented a novel solution to facilitate charging in dense urban areas, where lying about cables could hinder the passage of pedestrians. It is an integrated charger into curbstones, turning it de facto into a charging station.
Lack of charging capacity and low accessibility in metropolitan and urban areas could prove a significant hurdle for EV adoption. But Düsseldorf-based Rheinmetall has a compelling solution at hand. The company has made an electronic module capable of charging 22 kW AC that can be integrated into the curbstone without needing a lantern.
Rheinmetall made it possible to preserve the infrastructure and remove the limitations of classic charging points. The company also points out that retro-fitment was given the highest priority during development. As a result, cities and municipalities don’t need to invest in new curbs, the modules from Rheinmetall can be installed into the existing boardwalk blending invisibly into the cityscape.
Though the technology aims at roadside charging, its use can be extended to employer parking lots or residential areas. The company also makes dummy curbstones that can be replaced with chargers as the EV fleet steadily grows over time. Installation doesn’t take more than minutes, and due to the easy removal, maintenance is a breeze.
Rheinmetall is currently performing long-term tests with the module and will introduce it in a pilot project in a second phase before bringing it to the public market. How serious is this idea? Well, the German company is anything but a start-up. Rheinmetall is not only a supplier to the automotive industry but also an arms manufacturer for German Defence.
The curb charging technology must help Germany to reach 1 million charging points by 2030. The German Minister of Traffic, Volker Wissing, has reserved 6,3 billion euros to reach that goal. Currently, the country has deployed an infrastructure of 70 000 charging points. It is yet to be determined whether the company will offer these high-tech curbstones abroad.