BMW isn’t just trying to make the experience of driving its electric cars better, but to make the experience of electric mobility better for everyone. BMW is attempting to use its technologies in the commitment to electric mobility as a whole, not just its vehicles. The future “Light and Charge” project is just one of the many projects that BMW is trying to implement for the future of electric mobility.

What the “Light and Charge” project is, is a system of street lights that double as charging stations for electric vehicles. The city streets of Munich, Oxford and Los Angeles will be testing out these prototype charging street lights in the near future and there are talks of trying it in London and Berlin as well.


“Light & Charge” combines the most advanced LED technology for street lighting with a cashless option for connecting up to charging high-voltage batteries used in electric cars. The individual street-lighting units can be fitted on a modular basis with up to four specially energy-efficient and high-luminescence LED modules depending on the lighting requirement. Since the LED technology permits particularly targeted alignment of the light beams – in principle as with headlights for vehicles – unnecessary and environmentally invasive scattering of light can be avoided.


The idea is to allow for charging of electric vehicles even on city streets, removing the current necessity of finding charging stations or parking garages. Now, virtually every city street, in the participating cities, will have charging ports for electric vehicles. And placing them under highly efficient LED street lights creates a safe environment to park and charge a vehicle.

These Light and Charge stations will also allow for the charging of any electric car, not just BMWs. There will be a standardized connector that will be available for the charging of electric cars from any manufacturer. Also, the integrated control unit features contactless starting for the charging procedure using an app with a smart phone or the RFID card (Radio Frequency Identification Card).


The Light and Charge program is one of many for the BMW Group that will help to change the way we use electric mobility. Allowing for owners of electric cars to charge on the city street could help increase electric car ownership tenfold. Imagine not having to fight to find a charging station or parking garage, being able to just pull up on the side of the street and charge away. This could make life considerably easier for anyone who works or lives in one of these very busy cities.