Urban Electric tests its retractable kerbside charge points in on-street trials
The UK has become a laboratory for developing various forms of on-street charging to serve the many residents who lack driveways or garages, and thus aren’t able to install EV chargers at home.
One of the companies working in this space is Urban Electric, which makes a charging post that retracts under the pavement when not in use, leaving sidewalks free of obstructions and street clutter.
Urban Electric has invested 5 years and £5 million to develop and engineer its UEone dual-socket 7 kW kerbside charge point. The company recently conducted extended trials of the UEone.
For the trial, 124 prototype charging bays were installed in Dundee, Plymouth and Staffordshire, and Innovate UK and ADEPT Live Labs tested them over a period of 18 months. The company reported an uptime ration of 99.4%.
The UEone charge point features a plug-and-play design. In the event of vandalism or equipment failure, the entire charge point is designed to be swapped out and replaced with another unit in under 30 minutes, without the need for civil works.
“This combination of ultra-low streetscape impact and high network resilience represents a significant step forward in the deployment of reliable, accessible and scalable on-street charging infrastructure in our towns and cities.” said Urban Electric CEO Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson.
“This was one of the most exciting projects I have ever been involved in,” said Fraser Crichton, Corporate Fleet Manager at Dundee City Council. “Urban Electric provides a solution to residential street charging in both affluent and poor areas, and solves issues around vandalism and street furniture deployment. But what I really love is the swap-out system, gold dust to keep the network going.”
The prototypes will stay in place on a free-to-use basis for as long as they remain in working order, and will be retrofitted with series production units next year.
Source: Urban Electric Networks