SEOUL, July 20 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s state-run power supplier has devised a way to use utility poles as charging stations for electric vehicles, drastically cutting installation costs, its officials said Wednesday.
Working with an idea submitted by one of its employees, the Korea Electric Power Corp. (KEPCO) said it will conduct a trial test within this year in the southeastern city of Busan. A memorandum of understanding will be signed with the city on July 28, officials said.
The pole-mounted EV charger, being developed from May, would reduce the installation cost normally reaching 40 million won (US$35,000) per station to maximum 2 million won, and also eliminate the cost of buying the land to set up the stations, officials said. KEPCO would only need to pay for the charging equipment, approximately 30 million won each, they said.
Price for use will be about the same as at other charging stations, with three different charging speeds available. The equipment will include connecting cables, battery charger controller, LED lighting and a black box.
KEPCO hopes to install the chargers at some 30,000 utility poles nationwide that are close to parking lots, starting with a trial operation at four locations in Busan.
“This is the first attempt ever to use utility poles as EV charging stations,” Jin Bong-geon, the employee of KEPCO’s Busan-Ulsan regional office who proposed the idea, said. “The most unique feature of it is that people can stop by as they would at a convenience store to get their EVs recharged.”
The environment ministry and telephone booth operator KT Linkus together started offering EV charging services at public phones from earlier this month.
The government on July 1 announced it will allocate 5 trillion won to promote the use of eco-friendly vehicles to reduce air pollution from fine dust, including the building of charging infrastructure.