Smart poles can charge electric vehicles in this Karnataka smart city project

Citizens living the Hubballi-Dharwad Smart City project will soon be able to charge their electric vehicles from smart poles, which will also act as WiFi hotspots, a report in national daily stated.

Each smart pole will come at an expected price of Rs 10 lakh, special officer SH Naregal of the Hubballi-Dharwad Smart City Limited (HDSCL), was quoted as telling The Times of India.

“The smart poles will be installed on main roads and important places like Hubballi-Dharwad Municipal Corporation (HDMC) office, Nrupatunga Betta and other places. More places will be identified for installing the smart poles. The smart poles will be installed under design-build-finance-operate-transfer (DBFOT) in public-private partnership (PPP),” he told TOI.

These smart towers will also be equipped with telecommunications infrastructure that will support 4G and 5G. Optical fibres will offer WiFi services on an enhanced bandwidth. The poles will be fitted with LED street lights, which can be remotely controlled, to ensure energy efficiency. Surveillance cameras may also be installed on these poles along with sensors, which will measure air quality, temperature and humidity, Naregal explained.

The poles will help HDMC generate revenue through advertisements on billboards and by renting out optical fibre networks to private entities, the report added.

The smart poles will further catalyse the electric vehicle market in India that saw increased participation by the government in 2017. Last year, Niti Aayog, the government’s think-tank, introduced a policy document on electric vehicles, which outlined a 15-year roadmap to achieve complete electrification, a report in The Economic Times stated.

The government has already placed its first order, worth Rs 2,000 crore, for 10,000 vehicles to electrify buses in 11 cities in the country, the report added.

Last year, ride-hailing app Uber had tied up with automaker Mahindra & Mahindra to pilot electric vehicles on its platform in India.

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