UK government looks for 'iconic' EV chargers design

August 10, 2021 // By Nick Flaherty
UK government looks for 'iconic' EV chargers design
Royal College of Art (RCA) and PA Consulting are designing a chargepoint for electric vehicles that they aim to make as iconic as a red telephone box or black cab.

The UK government has appointed designers to create an ‘iconic’ charger design for electric vehicles that would be comparable to the red phone box.

The team from the Royal College of Art (RCA) and PA Consulting are to unveil the design in November at the COP26 environment conference in Glasgow and the charger could be in production by 2022.

The chargepoints will be functional and accessible for all users with sustainability at the heart of the design, says the specification. There are now over 25,000 public charging devices across the UK.

“Excellent design plays a key role in supporting our transition to zero emission vehicles, which is why I want to see EV chargepoints that are as iconic and recognisable as the British phone box, London bus or black cab,” said UK Transport Secretary Grant Shapps. “The rollout will allow chargepoints to be more recognisable for drivers, helping to create awareness around the transition to EVs and linking them to the iconic British designs of old that are recognised the world over,” he said.

“This is an opportunity to support the design of a future icon that will be part of our national culture as we move towards a sustainable future. The RCA has been at the forefront of shaping our products, mobility and services for the last 180 years. We are delighted to be playing a role in the design of the total service experience to ensure a usable, beautiful and inclusive design that is an excellent experience for all,” said Clive Grinyer, Head of Service Design at the RCA.

However the project has not specified the performance of the charging points or the technologies used.

“PA has a strong legacy in product design, which is an integral part of our world-leading end-to-end innovation capability. The combination of PA’s world-class design team and the Royal College of Art brings the creative expertise to reimagine the EV chargepoint as an iconic piece of British street furniture,” said Warwick Goodall, transport and net-zero mobility expert at PA. “We look forward to working together with the public and industry on a design framework that will accelerate the chargepoint rollout ambitions and bring to life the electric vehicle revolution on our streets.”

Other EV chargepoint network operators such as Ionity have used the design of the charging points as a key differentiator.  

www.gov.uk

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