Providing at-home charging for drivers who have no assigned parking spaces is a pressing problem, especially in the UK, where an estimated 43% of households (representing some 8 million vehicles) rely on on-street parking.
One company working to solve this conundrum is startup Urban Electric Networks, which recently completed a trial of its UEone prototype pop-up charging hub, in collaboration with Oxford City Council.
The UEone charger is designed for convenient overnight curbside charging. The app-operated charge points deliver 7 kW at each socket, and retract fully underground when not in use, minimizing the impact on the urban environment. No special charging cable or equipment is required to operate the chargers, and they’re designed to be suitable for 90% of residential streets.
Respondents to a post-trial survey conducted by Oxford City Council stressed the importance of access to on-street charging and indicated that reliability, access, and availability were the most important factors to consider when providing EVSE. Respondents scored the chargers 4.3 out of 5 when asked if they would recommend them to family or friends.
Joanna Spencer, one of the trial participants, said, “The Urban Electric hub is completely discreet and makes the business of charging really stress-free and convenient. I hope pop-up chargers become standard in every street.”
Urban Electric cofounder Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson said, “We were delighted to learn that all residents—not just EV drivers—were ‘very happy’ with the installation of a charging hub on their street, validating the pop-up hub concept as a breakthrough in on-street charging for electric vehicles.”