Intelligent Pole Base: Intelligent Amenity Storage At Each Light Pole

Steve Ducros, Principal & Nathan Mowery, Principal, Intelligent Pole BaseSteve Ducros, Principal & Nathan Mowery, Principal
Electric vehicles (EVs) are the obvious future of mobility. It’s only a matter of time before EVs replace internal combustion engine vehicles (ICEVs) on the roads. However, one major challenge that the EV industry must address before reaching the finish line on this long road is away-from-home EV charging.

Unlike refueling ICEVs at the nearest gas station and adding 300 miles of range in a couple of minutes, recharging EVs takes much longer. To put this into perspective, EV recharging spots are hard to find, and if one can be located, it still requires almost an hour of Level 2 charging to add a mere 15 to 30 miles of range.

It is thus imperative for the EV industry to roll out improved charging infrastructure in public hotspots, located throughout the parking lots of shopping centers, drive-in restaurants, and other properties where consumers can charge vehicles at their convenience. According to the International Council on Clean Transportation, “Public and workplace charging will need to grow from approximately 216,000 chargers in 2020, to 2.4 million by 2030 to support the 26 million EVs expected to be in the U.S. by 2030.” Interestingly, it is on this front that Intelligent Pole Base is poised to revolutionize the EV industry by bringing EV charging companies, EV consumers, and property owners together, “under the same pole.”

Intelligent Pole Base (IPB) is an innovative light pole base, structurally engineered to be used with any pole, at any location. This patented, weatherproof housing can encase the advanced technological components used to power service amenities, such as car chargers, video displays, cameras, Wi-Fi, and more. Notably, what makes the IPB a novel solution in the EV charging space is its ability to mount up to four, lower-cost Level 2 EV chargers at every light pole location.

This is a clear step away from the traditional setting where small clusters of EV chargers are inconveniently installed in a remote area of a parking lot. “If you think about all the engineering that goes into designing and building parking lots, it’s startling how little thought goes into the placement of EV chargers within them, resulting in a terrible customer experience,” notes Nathan Mowery, principal at Intelligent Pole Base. However, with IPBs installed, EV charging spots can be dispersed throughout the entire parking lot, with each light pole catering to as many as four EV owners.

The advantages it can bring are threefold. Namely, it empowers property owners to make their parking lots into perfect destinations for EVs by using existing infrastructure (light poles) to improve revenue generation, by providing the ability to future-proof their parking lots with easy installation of additional charging units, and by enhancing the overall charging experience for visitors that own EVs. And perhaps most prominently, IPBs allow EV charging companies to place their equipment in these public hotspots, boosting their overall scope of revenue generation. A win-win-win situation for all.
“We want to make every light pole something more, and IPBs will play a vital role in building consumer confidence when it comes to EV charging availability and in turn, the mass adoption of EV usage,” states Steve Ducros, principal at Intelligent Pole Base.

Smart Housing that Adds Value and Revenue

IPBs are constructed using 3/4 inch thick, plate steel with an 1/8-inch-thick steel skin that provides the structural strength and integrity needed to support light poles. IPBs also create a dust-proof and water-resistant cabinet with Schlage locks that are re-keyable to match the master key system of a facility. IPB thus ensures that technological components are securely stored in a weatherproof and aesthetically pleasing manner at the base of light poles. In addition, IPBs are also ventable, with multiple fans that provide maximum airflow to critical electronic components.

As developers and property owners are constantly looking to keep up with evolving technological advancements and added value to their properties, IPB can be a robust platform not only for EV chargers, but for other service amenities as well. IPBs can house components for all kinds of technologies and equipment that drive value and revenue for property owners, including digital signage, fiber-optics, 5G small cells, egress lighting, battery backup, and wireless mesh systems.

As there are millions of light poles in the U.S., implementing an IPB at each of those poles creates abundant revenue streams for properties

Take the case of digital signage, for instance. Be it for retail advertising, guiding people with wayfinding signs, or disseminating critical health and safety content in real time, digital signage provides indispensable value to a property. With IPBs, digital signage can be prominently positioned throughout the property.

Future-Proofing Properties

While aiding developers and property owners in integrating today’s leading-edge technologies into their properties, IPB is consequently empowering them to embrace the technologies of tomorrow as well. The major stumbling block property owners are constantly tripping over when implementing state-of-the-art amenities, is the high cost associated with doing so, by trenching and boring their parking lots to accommodate each implementation. It is this evident disconnect between the construction design and operations of a parking lot that Ducros and Mowery are looking to address. Their decades of combined expertise working with large property management companies in both the construction and operations phases is substantially aiding them in this endeavor. While Ducros has three decades of proficiency in electrical contracting and design, Mowery is an expert in the construction industry with more than two decades of experience.

Their combined experience helps the company always make it a point to future-proof its clients’ properties. “Today, we are installing fiber optics because it is the best way to send information. But who knows what tomorrow holds? Whatever that may be. You can always pull it through the conduit where the fiber is now,” Mowery comments. Even while installing EV chargers, IPB encourages its clients to run an extra conduit through the ground and up, into the pole base, and simply cap it off for later use.
If wireless inductive charging is the future, they won’t have to tear up the footing again, because they’ve already planned for it in advance.

It is indeed this forward thinking potential that makes IPB a one-of-a-kind system. The light poles can be replaced after their life expectancy of 10 to 15 years, and technologies are sure to evolve over time, but the pole base is always going to be there. Thus, by reimagining its shape and creating physical space, IPB can serve as the hub that caters efficiently to all those future applications.

Catering to a Diverse Range of Modern Day Needs

One of the earliest applications of IPB was in a shopping center when Ducros and Mowery were tasked with installing a fiber optic system in the parking lot. Built 60 years ago, implementing speakers, cameras, Wi-Fi systems, and other components into traditionally made, large buildings was a remarkable feat in itself. Instead of putting them in plastic boxes hung around poles, they used their flagship light pole bases to curb the logistical nightmare and securely house all the required equipment.
  • We want to make every light pole something more, and IPBs will play a vital role in building consumer confidence when it comes to EV charging availability and in turn, the mass adoption of EV usage

Another example is a massive real estate developer, that is one of the country’s largest, privately-held property management companies. They are forward-thinking in their efforts to tackle the EV charging problem, by always keeping the future in mind. Working hand in hand with the IPB team, they are phasing-in a three-stage plan to leverage the benefits of the IPB. Their designs are always keeping in mind what can be done today, in five years, and in 10 years. Having the ability to provide such an enduring and dynamic solution makes IPB unique in the EV space.

Continuing to transcend its potential, IPB will find more custom-tailored applications in different sectors in the coming years. In fact, IPB, in itself, is not smart. What makes it smart is what is put inside of it.

Paving the Path for Future Technologies

Reinventing concrete pole bases that have been around for more than a century, and leveraging the capabilities that IPBs provide for locating cutting edge technologies like EV charging, IPB is indeed opening a huge window of opportunity for property owners. Simultaneously, IPB has a substantial potential to influence consumer behavior as well, like in the case of EV charging. Laying the foundation for the mass installation of EV chargers, IPB is radically transforming ‘where and how’ consumers charge their EVs, subsequently impacting how these EV charging products are engineered and designed.

Riding on the coattails of such competencies, the company has already acquired over 30 different lighting agencies across the country in the span of just six months. But the journey has just begun. “As there are millions of light poles in the U.S., implementing an IPB at each of those poles creates abundant revenue streams for properties,” says Ducros. And, considering its potential in burgeoning industries like EV, the future of IPB is even brighter than know at the moment.
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Intelligent Pole Base

Irvine, CA

Steve Ducros, Principal & Nathan Mowery, Principal

Intelligent Pole Base (IPB) is an innovative light pole base structurally engineered to be used with any pole and at any location. It is a patented weatherproof housing that can encase advanced technological components used to power service amenities, such as car chargers, video displays, cameras, Wi-Fi, and more.

Intelligent Pole Base

"As there are millions of light poles in the U.S., implementing an IPB at each of those poles creates abundant revenue streams for properties"

- Steve Ducros, Principal & Nathan Mowery, Principal

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