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Car-charging "smart" street lights launched in Sydney

The first 20 light poles will be launched in Blacktown and Canada Bay in Sydney

New car-charging "smart" street lights have been launched in Sydney, meaning EV owners can now recharge their vehicles on the fly. And in happy news for electric vehicle owners, the charging points are free to use - for now, at least.

The poles are designed by ENE-HUB, and are thought to cost around $30,000 each. The charging infrastructure is supplied by Melbourne Company Jet Charge.

The roll-out is part of a two-suburb trial (Blacktown in Sydney's west and Canada Bay in the city's inner suburbs), with 20 smart light poles to be installed, the first of which comes online this week.

The poles offer a wi-fi connection, but also provide a charge point that will allow EV owners to recharge their vehicles, even if they don't have off-street parking. The power supply is the same as that found in an average home - meaning recharging takes hours, not minutes - with the idea being that owners would recharge overnight.

"We've been working with a smart light-pole company to deploy the first light-pole chargers in Australia, and the first one is being turned on right now," says Jet Charge boss Tim Washington, who was speaking to CarsGuide at the Nissan Future summit.

"They're security cameras, they have LED lighting, and they have wi-fi hotspots and EV charging. And we helped them to design and build them.

"It's really to demonstrate what street-side charging might look like. It's a demonstration of what's possible."

Would streetlight charging tempt you into an electric vehicle? Tell us in the comments below.