One factor for choosing streetlight mounts is whether the light is high-pressure sodium or LED. In recent years many areas have switched to LED lamps, which are more efficient, yet the streetlight energy capacity often is not reduced accordingly to account for the adjustment and efficiency gains. This creates an energy gap that can be capitalized upon with a charging port.

Another big consideration is how much voltage each pole carries. Streetlights often carry 110 to 120 volts (V), which is only suitable for a Level 1 charger. However, utility poles typically carry thousands of volts, which is more suitable for Level 2 chargers’ 208-240V connections, the preferred option for public space installations.

“The best type of pole depends heavily on local context,” Kothari said, adding that equity and accessibility must be built into the planning process to maximize the benefits of pole-mounted chargers.

Like WRI, the Kansas City project organizers hope their final report helps other cities tackle pole-mounted EV charging projects.

“This is hard and takes time,” Nobler said. “I absolutely hope other communities can do and take it a step further.”