Oxford to install world's first retractable street chargers

July 09, 2018 // By Nick Flaherty
UK startup Urban Electric Networks has developed a retractable charging point for electric vehicles (EVs) that can be installed in pavements to solve the problem of charging for the 43% of UK households who have to park on the street.

The move comes as the UK government is planning to force all new homes built to include a charging point for electric vehicles.

The UEone charges at up to 5.8kW and retracts underground when not in use, minimising the impact on the street. It is standard height when raised but the retractable design by Duku in Cheltenham means the installation depth is just 405mm, reducing the roll out cost and making it suitable for more than 90% of residential streets.

The grid demand management capability means that whole streets can be electrified at a time and uses the same SmartCable as ubitricity lamp posts, meaning that residents will be able to charge at any UEone pop-up or ubitricity lamp post. The charging post is triggered and controlled via an app.

"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,” said Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson, co-founder of Urban Electric.

“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,"

A £600,000 trial of the UEone with Oxford City Council, backed by the InnovateUK R&D agency, will see 100 chargers installed over the summer.

"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," said Susan Brown, Leader at Oxford City Council.

Urban Electric Networks was formed in London in June 2017 with support from Imperial College London and is one of six startups selected for the 2018 programme by Climate-KIC, Europe's climate


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