One of the frequently-cited problems with electric cars is a lack of places to charge up when you're away from home. Rather than create an entire standalone network, BMW is looking to combine charging docks with another common, electricity-powered street fixture: lampposts.

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According to a Reuters report, BMW has developed two prototypes that meld a LED street light with electric car-charging sockets. In principle, the idea makes perfect sense: street lamps are an already-existing piece of infrastructure which already have the necessary cables inside. Adding a charging port should be simple, and make using an electric car as an around-town runabout that little bit more practical.

It's not just a pipe dream, either: BMW has two prototypes outside its head office, and is deploying a pilot programme onto the streets of Munich, Germany by next year. There's one slight catch: the electricity won't be free, and would-be chargees will have to use a mobile app to pay for juicing up. [Reuters]

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Image credit: Jalopnik