Urban Electric’s Pop-Up Charge Point Could Solve Curbside Urban Charging Challenges

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Urban Electric has developed a unique plug-in vehicle charger designed specifically for residential urban curbside charging. The UEone pop-up charger remains out of sight until it is needed. Then the charge point lifts up out of the ground to allow for charging vehicles. This approach clearly has multiple benefits, and with an installation depth of only 405 mm (16 inches), the device is well suited for installation in many urban residential neighborhoods.

The new chargers are designed to be installed in blocks of at least 20 per neighborhood, then hidden out of sight underground until they are needed. This strategy allows for much larger deployments of plug-in vehicle chargers without the nuisance of large, unsightly charging pedestals lingering on the sidewalk.

“The most convenient, affordable and climate-friendly way to charge an EV from the grid is at home at night, yet up to 85% of households in some urban residential areas cannot do so because they park on-street, acting as a barrier to EV adoption. By installing an over-supply of pop-up charge points in a street from day one we will give certainty of access to a home-based charge point in residential parking zones, so that local authorities can enable the 11.6m UK households currently excluded from driving zero emission to make the switch.” said cofounder Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson.

The UEone was designed specifically to solve the challenge of home charging for the 43% of UK households who park on the street, which resulted in a total system design that allows it to be installed in clusters and with integrated demand management. This allows utilities to install charging for a full neighborhood at once without having to worry so much about how much strain the new charging system will put on the grid.

Installing clusters of charging stations at a time lowers the overall installation cost per charge point while allowing for more flexible parking options for residents. As a special bonus, the UEone uses the same SmartCable as ubitricity lamp posts, meaning that residents will be able to charge at any UEone pop-up or ubitricity lamp post, creating a new standard for urban residential charging.

When a plug-in vehicle drive needs to charge, they simply request a charging session via the app and the UEone rises up out of the ground to standard height and can deliver a charge of up to 5.8kW. After the charging session is completed, the station sinks back into the ground. A preliminary analysis shows that the charger is suitable for more than 90% of residential streets, thanks to its shallow installation depth.

The UEone isn’t just a concept, it’s taking the streets by storm with a £600,000 trial with Oxford City Council, which proposed the creation of the world’s first Zero Emissions Zone by 2020. Susan Brown, Leader at Oxford City Council, said of the pilot: “We are thrilled that we will be trialing the world’s first pop-up electric vehicle charging points and that Urban Electric is bringing us this exciting new technology to encourage more residents to switch to electric vehicles.”

Head on over to the official Urban Electric website to learn more about the unique UEone chargers or to express your interest in the solution.

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Kyle Field

I'm a tech geek passionately in search of actionable ways to reduce the negative impact my life has on the planet, save money and reduce stress. Live intentionally, make conscious decisions, love more, act responsibly, play. The more you know, the less you need. As an activist investor, Kyle owns long term holdings in Tesla, Lightning eMotors, Arcimoto, and SolarEdge.

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