Streetlight Charging in the Kansas City Right-of-Way

Kansas City, MO’s Streetlight Charging in the City Right-of-Way pilot project will install limited electric vehicle (EV) charging on the streetlight system to demonstrate and test the benefits of curbside charging for plug-in electric vehicles at existing on-street parking locations. This 3-year project will engage the community in a collaborative effort to identify and evaluate the benefits and impacts of streetlight charging and use findings to streamline future efforts to support a diverse array of EV drivers. (Read more)

See the project FAQ page for answers to frequently asked questions about the project.

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Project Photos

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Charging Scenario

Charging Station

Streetlight Charging Station

Project Detail: Streetlight Charging in the Kansas City Right-of-Way

Project Background

Funding for this project was awarded to MEC through a competitively funded opportunity offered by the U.S. Department of Energy. MEC and its partners are making in-kind contributions to leverage these federal dollars for the benefit of the Kansas City community.

MEC is local non-profit that works to create resource efficiency, environmental health, and economic vitality in the Kansas City region. The project planning, installation and information gathering will take place over 3 years. The charging stations will remain in place for their useful lives (or until they are irretrievably damaged by an accident or serious vandalism).

Demonstrate & Test

A growing number of drivers are choosing EVs; however, access to electric vehicles and charging remains a barrier. As EVs replace conventional vehicles, members of the Kansas City community could see health benefits from such as decreased pollution from vehicle tailpipes.

The majority of EV charging (80% or more) happens at home, but Kansas City has many residents who lack access to off-street garages or driveways where they can install charging. This is a pilot project to install limited EV charging on the streetlight system to demonstrate and test curbside charging of electric vehicles at existing on-street parking locations.

  • The pilot will demonstrate how charging can be integrated with the streetlight system to provide curbside access to public EV charging in the city right-of-way.
    • Expand access for renters, multi-family building residents, and taxis/TNCs
  • The pilot will test the efficacy of streetlight charging in terms of technical, social, economic, and environmental benefit to the community. The project hopes to demonstrate that streetlight charging can:
    • Minimize the footprint of charging infrastructure
    • Minimize construction activity
    • Maximize access
    • Leverage spare capacity from LED lighting upgrades.

Project Timeline

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Collaborate & Evaluate

The project will engage the community in a collaborative effort to identify and evaluate the benefits and impacts of streetlight charging.

  • It is a priority for the project to ensure the benefits of this pilot are distributed equitably to all members of the Kansas City community and that new charging opportunities and associated resources are available in diverse neighborhoods across the city.
  • Engagement with the community will allow the pilot to proactively identify potential impacts, and work collaboratively with stakeholders to implement solutions.
  • This pilot will evaluate the impact and overall success of streetlight charging based on community feedback, utilization of charging infrastructure, technical feasibility, and cost.

The project will pursue a data- and community-driven site selection process designed to identify sites with high demand for EV charging, and sites with high opportunity for EV charging.

Inform Future Investment

Findings from this project will help streamline future efforts to support a diverse array of EV drivers through public charging in the city right-of-way.

  • If viable, lessons learned from the pilot will help bring the streetlight charging solution to scale, pave the way for private sector investment, and help make the transition to an electric vehicle easier for all members of the Kansas City community..
  • Lessons learned from the pilot will inform city-wide guidance for future installations, including best practices for permitting, ownership, parking enforcement, etc.)
  • Community feedback will inform opportunities for additional resources that will make EVs more accessible to all members of the Kansas City community

Partners

  • City of Kansas City, Missouri
  • Evergy
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • National Renewable Energy Lab,
  • Black & McDonald
  • EV Noire,
  • LilyPad EV

Links/Resources

Electrify Heartland

Clean Charge Network

Kansas City Climate Protection Plan

This material is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) under the Award Number DE-EE008474.

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