On-street charging has become less obtrusive with this solution by British startup Urban Electric. Their UEone which they call a pop-up charge point disappears out of sight when not in use. A trial is underway together with the Oxford City Council.
Rather than cluttering residential areas with ever more “street furniture”, the electric car charging solution by Urban Electric can be stored away.
Building on the SmartCable solution by Berlin-based Ubitricity and their lamppost chargers, the UEone is a charge column that can be lowered into the ground when not in use.
EV drivers wanting to charge their electric car can then call the charger to literally pop-up to street level via an app. The UEone then charges at up to 5.8kW before it retracts underground again once the electric car is unplugged.
Having a standard height when raised, yet requiring an installation depth of just 405mm, the UEone is suitable for more than 90% of residential streets. Says UE cofounder Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson: “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.”
No wonder then that Oxford City Council has embarked on a trial worth 600,000 pounds in order to test and install the solution by Urban Electric. The trial is co-funded by Innovate UK, following a successful £474,000 bid led by the startup, in partnership with Duku and Oxford City Council. Susan Brown, Leader at Oxford City Council, said: “We are thrilled that we will be trialing 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 is one of six startups selected for the 2018 programme by Climate-KIC, Europe’s climate innovation agency, and supported by Imperial College London.