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How zero-emission zones become a success

One of the biggest challenges facing the electrification of transport is the charging infrastructure. Even if more and more drivers opt for an electric model, it will fail in everyday life due to the lack of sockets on the road. One solution is sockets integrated into street lamps. In Berlin, they already wanted to test this by equipping some street lamps with plugs. In London and Arnhem, they are already further along.

In London, they were already installed in the middle of last year, namely in Westminster, where 24 street lamps were equipped with charging points. The part of Sutherland Avenue in Westminster with these special lanterns has even been given a new name: Electric Avenue, not to be confused with the more famous and 140 years older one in the London Borough of Brixton. More than 1000 charging points are planned in Westminster. If one assumes that there will be up to 8000 electric cars driving around the district by 2025, they are also bitterly needed.

Interestingly, the operating company in both Berlin and London is the Berlin-based company Ubricity, which was taken over by the oil company Shell at the beginning of the year. Such special lanterns were also planned in Berlin itself, but the installation is dragging on. More than 1000 such new lanterns were planned, but the German capital is still a long way off. "It has turned out that the effort of the conversion is much greater than assumed," the Berlin Senate's transport administration announced as the reason.

In the Netherlands, they are now putting their money where their mouth is, because they want a zero-emission zone in many cities as early as 2025. From then on, only trucks, vans and motorbikes that do not emit any pollutants will be allowed to drive in the inner cities. This means that charging stations will have to be installed at an even greater pace than in Germany, for example. Arnhem on the Lower Rhine is already preparing for this: In the Schuytgraaf district, 150 lanterns with two sockets each are being installed. In the coming years, 1200 new flats will be built in this district. The aim is to install a practical charging lantern with two sockets in front of each new housing unit.

The number of electric cars in the Netherlands is increasing rapidly. There are now more than 200,000 electric vehicles on Dutch roads. Another 125,500 hybrid vehicles are added to this number. The parking spaces at the charging lanterns should remain accessible to everyone. However, the pace of expansion of the charging infrastructure would have to be increased so that the tightening of environmental zones does not lead to cars not being able to drive because there are too few electric charging stations.