A fully retractable charging point has popped up in Oxford thanks to Urban Electric Networks. The startup, founded in 2017, aims to install 18 further ‘demonstrator’ hubs with 100 charging points for overnight charging before full commercial launch.
The first prototype of a 6-charger hub installed in Oxford includes partnerships for a seamless experience. The Ohme intelligent EV charging system and the free use of an electric car, operated by the Co-wheels car club ensure residents may get the full picture.
Each charge point called UEOne retracts fully underground when not in use, leaving the footpaths free. Urban Electric aims to address those who think they cannot switch to driving an electric car without having a private garage where they can charge their vehicle overnight, or do not have access to an ultra-fast charging bay at a publically accessible area.
Urban Electric Networks seem to have their prototype ready at an opportune time: this week, the UK government announced a doubling of the grant support for on-street charging.
A further 2.5M pounds are to promote more than 1,000 new charging points through the streetside residential charge point scheme as reported.
Government programme aside, Urban Electric is currently running a £250,000 equity crowdfunding campaign through Crowdcube. The new funds will support the £3.8M Innovate UK backed project to install up to 18 second-generation ‘demonstrator’ pop-up charging hubs comprising more than 100 charge points in Dundee and Plymouth, prior to a full commercial launch.
And this is how the startup makes the business case for retractable on-street charging points:
Additional reporting by Nora Manthey.
Oxford info via email, crowdcube.com (crowdfunding campaign)