Urban Electric concludes successful trial of on-street pop-up charging stations

British charging startup Urban Electric Networks has completed a trial of its UEone prototype on-street pop-up charging hub, which was conducted in association with Oxford City Council.

Urban Electric’s pop-up charging hubs were developed specifically to solve the problem of at-home charging for the 43% of UK households who have no assigned parking spaces, and have to park their cars on the street (an estimated 8 million vehicles across the UK). The 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.”

Source: Urban Electric
Images: Urban Electric Networks Ltd

  • Tom Jew

    Nice concept. Unit protected from being accidentally or deliberately knocked over. Can be activated by EV when parked. How is an EV driver going to be able to see where a charger is located.

    • Lance Pickup

      I imagine the use case is for residential streets for use by residents that live along that street. They would probably be well aware of where the charging stations on their own street are. True, EV drivers that live elsewhere may not know where those charging stations are, but I don’t think they are the intended users of them.

      • Tom Jew

        Always thought it would be nice if parking meters could also be chargers, but I don’t many want a parking meters where none had existed before.

  • Charles

    EV drivers can ascertain the locations and availability of charging stations using apps (in-car or on a smartphone). They shouldn’t need to rely on visual reconnaissance.

  • bob

    Strange. based on the pictures, it does not have a cable of its own. I had wondered about the cable retracting. Must need or the unit has a cable to connect them. Look at the picture and it appears you are plugging into the charger not the other way around. Would like to see more pics.

    • http://www.efest.ca Robert (Electricman) Weekley

      EU Level 2 Points, are mostly, or Frequently, These Cable Free Type of Connections, unlike the USA/Canada, or others WITH the Cable. And since 220V is the Norm, the “Included Cable” with the EV has EV Type Connectors on Both Ends.

      • bob

        gets rid of the cord on the ground issue. As long as you remember your cord, I guess.

      • Lance Pickup

        It’s a shame the rest of the world did not use a similar system. This makes sense on so many levels.