An electric vehicle charging hub that fully retracts into the ground when not in use has been developed and deployed in Oxford, UK.
The UEone from British charging startup Urban Electric Networks helps provide a solution to urban and residential EV charging, as well as solving the issue of aesthetic impact thanks to a pop-up design.
The charging hub appears from beneath the sidewalk in approximately 20 seconds to offer a 7kW six-unit charge point that is accessible and operated by an app.
Not only is the UEone’s innovative ‘invisible’ design able to keep sightlines along residential streets clearer, the ability to install the units in areas where EV ownership is only increasing and is a means for residents seeking ways to charge their cars without access to driveways.
As part of the Innovate UK project, Urban Electric was awarded £452,000 to get the UEone underway and has installed a prototype in Oxford where local residents will soon be able to trial the system via three pop-up charging ponits. However, the company is seeking an additional £250,000 funds via Crowdcube to secure a £3.8m contract to install a further 18 demonstrator charging hubs in Dundee and Plymouth in 2020, before a planned full commercial rollout in the UK and worldwide.
“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,” said cofounder Olivier Freeling-Wilkinson.