While this is not an EV company, I think it could have a bright future if it gets a foothold on the replacement streetlight business. There are a lot of streetlights in the world that eventually will need replacement. Plus, LED streetlights can free up a lot of watts for powering EVs.
My newspaper reports that a “green energy” start-up company, by the name of Bridgelux, has partnered with Chevron to develop and market a new generation of LED streetlights. The Livermore, CA, based company will upgrade 100 existing streetlights in the cities of Livermore and Dublin with their new LED lights (I assume at no cost to the municipalities) as a demonstration project.
Chevron says that they have received a lot of interest in the new lights. About 60 cities, counties and other local jurisdictions recently participated in an online seminar hosted by Chevron to discuss the LED streetlight program.
Streetlights typically account for 10 to 40% of a city's energy bill. A typical LED streetlight uses 60% less energy than a conventional incandescent light. (Not that anyone uses incandescent streetlights anymore. Most streetlights in California are High Pressure or Low Pressure sodium lights.) Chevron claims that the cost of the new lighting assemblies would be paid for by the anticipated energy savings. Plus, the LED lights are expected to last much longer than the lights now in use.
The article goes on to say that there are challenges confronting Bridgelux in their quest to slash production costs. Bridgelux is attempting to use silicon surfaces for LED manufacturing. Previously, Bridgelux used more expensive sapphire surfaces. The production of LEDs on silicon surfaces can be technologically tricky, according to Eric Wesoff, an editor with Greentech Media, which tracks the “cleantech” sector. “Manufacturers are looking for something cheaper and easier to use than sapphire”, Wesoff said.
In this pilot program, Bridgelux is providing the cities with an entire module that would replace the conventional lights. Chevron is quoted as saying that “it believes the Bridgelux system is a game-changer”.