EV Charger Claims World First With Pop-Up City Solution

A British start-up is claiming a city EV charging solution with the world’s first pop-up charging street furniture.

The UEone from Urban Electric Networks claims to solves the problem of charging for the 50% of urban drivers who currently have to park on-street at night with little or no EV infrastructure. The company claims by installing these pop-up fast charging hubs in residential streets and on-street public parking bays for overnight use, the hubs could ease the impact on the power grid while causing less street clutter thanks to being fully retractable. A prototype 6-charger hub has been installed in Oxford where local residents will soon be able to trial the pop-up charge points.

While the UK government has pledged $4.6M to an 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, many would see this as a drop-in-the-ocean in terms of infrastructure required to boost EV take-up in large cities like London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Nonetheless, the hub’s backers are pushing its positives. According to Innovate UK’s director of clean growth and infrastructure, Ian Meikle, the hub “has the potential to be rolled out across the whole of the UK”. Start-up co-founder, Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson, added: “Pop-up charging hubs offer a scalable solution for more than 190 million on-street parking spaces in European cities alone, enabling those without off-street residential parking to switch to an EV. If you are one of the 8 million UK drivers that park your vehicle on your street at night, the convenience of charging there as well while you sleep is unbeatable – simply plug-in when you get home in the evening for a full charge in the morning.”

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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