Innovative solution for vehicle charging stations in the city of Kraków

As part of the Smart EPC project, the city of Kraków is testing the use of LED street lanterns for vehicle charging. To understand the interest of residents, the Roads Authority prepared a field test and appealed for help in mapping out the location of the EV chargers.

Innovative solution for vehicle charging stations in the city of Kraków

Smart EPC project 

The Smart EPC project, co-funded by the HORIZON 2020 programme, is being carried out in cooperation with several European cities. The City of Kraków is a partner in the project and at the same time acts as a pilot, i.e. a city that has committed to replacing street lighting with energy-efficient lighting based on the standards developed as part of the project. 

The main objective of the project is to be able to replace street lighting in an energy performance contract (EPC) standard – the energy savings company (ESCO) will be tasked with replacing the street lighting and will be remunerated through the generated electricity savings. In addition, by participating in this project, Kraków will have the opportunity to test the implementation of Smart City elements when replacing street lighting, using the street lighting infrastructure as the backbone of the smart infrastructure.  

In Kraków, the project plans to test the following activities: 

  • implementation of external light sensors for dynamic dimming/brightening of luminaires in the event of illumination from external sources, e.g. illuminated advertising, building displays; 
  • implementation of additional services like e-charging; 
  • communication with the luminaires via a monitoring and control system; 
  • implementation of a dynamic control system for controlling and monitoring the operation of luminaires, allowing the dynamic control of luminaires collection of breakdown data; 
  • implementation of additional services like data transmission infrastructure (is being considered). 

Field test 

As part of the project, the city is testing the use of LED street lanterns for vehicle charging. In this way, a power-connected LED street lantern can also be used to charge an electric vehicle. It is not a very large device and can definitely improve the service of electric cars. It is estimated that the number of electric vehicles in Kraków will increase every year. 

In order to find out the interest of residents in such a solution, the Road Authority of the City of Kraków prepared a field test of an e-charger that can be installed on streetlights in public spaces and conducted it on April 13th 2023. The test was successful, arousing the curiosity of the assembled local media journalists and passers-by who took an interest in the street event. The demonstration test was carried out using an electric car. 

Following the field trial, the deputy mayor of Kraków appealed for help in mapping out locations for e-chargers, asking for suggestions for locations for both electric car drivers, electric-assisted bicycles, private electric scooters, electric wheelchairs or scooters and personal transport equipment (UTO).  

Photos from field tests, Borsucza street in Kraków 

Online survey 

The Roads Authority has published a questionnaire aimed at residents to gather information on the need for a system of electric vehicle charging stations in Kraków. The survey, available from April 13th to May 15th 2023, encouraged people to select the best locations for chargers. Respondents could indicate the address of the suggested location, as well as mark it on a dedicated map.  

The purpose of the survey was to encourage people to indicate their preferred locations for a wide range of vehicles. Through it, residents were able to make suggestions for the location of areas of the city where a device equipped with a module capable of recharging a vehicle could appear on lamp posts, both in terms of a longer, full charging cycle and a shorter one, such as a top-up to complete a journey. 

The survey was designed as an anonymous online questionnaire, completed independently by respondents. Information about the survey was posted on the Roads Authority’s homepage and its social media profiles.  

Respondents indicated both the types of vehicles and the location of the chargers in the space. It was required however that the locations selected are be close to a public road and, in the case of selecting a location for an e-charger for a vehicle other than a car, that it should be accessible (e.g. from a pavement or a cycle path). In addition, it was noted that the site selected through the survey should be located on municipal land. Verification of the proposals could be made on the website of the Observatory – Municipal Spatial Information System.  

Screenshot of proposals plotted on a map, based on Mapbox, OpenStreetMap 

The questionnaire was completed 149 times; it was optional to indicate more than one electric vehicle used by the respondent. The largest group are those using electric passenger cars (132), followed by electric assisted bicycles (34), e-scooters (23), personal transport devices – UTO (8), electric wheelchairs/scooters (5) and electric vans (3).  

In 82 cases, respondents entered the address where they would see the e-loader installed, some indicating more than one location. For 67 responses the locations were plotted on the map. In some cases, respondents indicated similar areas, streets, or neighbouring property numbers.  

From the submitted site proposals a picture emerges showing interest in the topic of locating e-chargers throughout the city, both in the centre of Kraków and in the central areas of many districts. For example, in the districts of Stare Miasto (I), Grzegórzki (II), Krowodrza (V), Podgórze (XIII), or Nowa Huta (XVIII) there are quite distinct clusters of proposals. As one moves towards the outskirts of the city, the interest decreases.  

written by the Road Authority of the City of Kraków