New retractable EV charge point developed

A new EV charge point has been developed by Urban Electric, which retracts into the ground when not in use. The unit has been designed to boost on-street residential EV charging infrastructure - and hence uptake of plug-in vehicles.

The UEone will undergo trials in Oxford, as part of an Oxford City Council and Innovate UK project. Costing around £600,000 and lasting 15 months, the project will see around 20 units installed in the city by the end of the year.

A significant barrier to EV uptake currently is a lack of charging infrastructure for households without off-street parking. The new UEone aims to help overcome this barrier, without creating as much street furniture as installing a conventional EV charge point would add.

The units charge at up to 5.8 kW, and only require 405 mm of depth under the pavement surface to be installed. Urban Electric considers this will allow installation on more than 90& of the UK's residential streets.

Access will be via Ubitricity SmartCable, which allows access and calculates how much electricity is used using a unit built into the cable.

Susan Brown, Leader at Oxford City Council, said: "We are thrilled that we will be trialling the world's first pop-up electric vehicle charging points and that Urban Electric is bringing us this exciting new technology to encourage more residents to switch to electric vehicles."

Urban Electric co-founder Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson, said: "The most convenient, affordable and climate-friendly way to charge an EV from the grid is at home at night, yet up to 85% of households in some urban residential areas cannot do so because they park on-street, acting as a barrier to EV adoption.

"By installing an over-supply of pop-up charge points in a street from day one we will give certainty of access to a home-based charge point in residential parking zones, so that local authorities can enable the 11.6m UK households currently excluded from driving zero emission to make the switch."

Ian Meikle, Innovate UK Director Clean Growth and Infrastructure, said: "Improving air quality in cities right across the world is a huge challenge but also a huge opportunity for UK businesses, which is why Innovate UK and the Government's Industrial Strategy are supporting projects like this one in Oxford.

"Making sure we have the right infrastructure to encourage more people to switch to electric vehicles is a key part of meeting the air quality challenge and if successful, this exciting project has the potential to be rolled out across the whole country, so we're very interested to see how it progresses."

Once live, you will be able to find the new retractable charge points on Zap-Map. Until then, you can find other EV charge points in Oxford by heading to the desktop map or Zap-Map app.

Urban Electric UEone

Find out more about EV charging here

Chris Lilly

Author:Chris Lilly
Date Updated:15th May 2018

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