‘World-first’ pop-up charging hub brings practical on-street charging solution
Pop-up charging hubs are to start springing up on kerbs in the UK – and potentially globally – to provide a unique solution to the issue of on-street charging.
According to research, 50% of urban drivers in the UK park on-street at night. The UEone from British charging start-up Urban Electric Networks solves this by providing fast charging hubs in residential streets and on-street public parking bays that can facilitate overnight smart charging to minimise impact on the grid while retracting during the day to avoid impacting pedestrians and other road users.
The company has been awarded £452,000 as part of £3.8m Innovate UK project to develop the next-generation hubs. The first has already been deployed in Oxford, providing a six-charger set-up and now undergoing driver trials in partnership with the Ohme intelligent EV charging system and free electric car usage through the Co-wheels car club. More are due to go live in Dundee and Plymouth.
A full commercial launch is also being supported by a new £250,000 equity crowdfunding campaign being run through Crowdcube at https://www.crowdcube.com/urbanelectric; according to Innovate UK’s director of clean growth and infrastructure, Ian Meikle, the UEone “has the potential to be rolled out across the whole of the UK.”
The debut of the UEone comes as the Government doubles funding for on-street electric car charging, with Transport Secretary Grant Shapps saying: “It’s vital that electric vehicle drivers feel confident about the availability of chargepoints near their homes, and that charging an electric car is seen as easy as plugging in a smartphone.”
Urban Electric Networks co-founder Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson commented: “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 eight 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.”